The White House coronavirus task force is expressing “great concern” there will be more person-to-person transmissions of the disease after two deaths on American soil — a message that strongly contrasts with President Donald Trump’s earlier rosy forecasts about the situation.

Top administration officials are also going out of their way to show they are ramping up to counter the widening threat as new cases spring up from coast to coast. Trump, for instance, says he plans to meet leaders from the pharmaceutical industry at the White House on Monday to discuss the search for a vaccine. “Progress being made!” the President tweeted. Vice President Mike Pence, who is heading the task force, plans a late afternoon televised briefing…

Trump’s earlier rambling, contentious and widely criticized first public appearance on the issue last week as well as inflammatory remarks on the virus and Democrats at a campaign rally Friday night threatened to overshadow its mitigation efforts. His previous comments that the number of US cases could soon disappear and that his administration had made “tremendous” efforts to thwart the virus arriving in the US now look premature.

On Sunday night, the President crowed about a poll that he said showed 77% of adults were confident the government could handle the situation.