Pence tries to put positive spin on pandemic despite surging cases in South and West
The Trump administration on Friday claimed “remarkable progress” in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, despite a surge of cases in the South and West and as several Republican governors allied with President Trump are under pressure to impose stricter public health restrictions to gain control of outbreaks in their states.
Vice President Pence held the first public briefing of the coronavirus task force in nearly two months and sought to deliver an upbeat message that was at odds with warnings from public health experts. The vice president dodged the question of whether people should wear masks in public, as his own administration recommends, and said campaign rallies that pack people together, in violation of public health guidance, will continue.
Pence offered no new strategies to combat the rapidly spreading virus and minimized record daily case counts in several states as “outbreaks in specific counties.”
“As we stand here today, all 50 states and territories across the country are opening up, and safely and responsibly,” Pence said, a point that was undermined as Florida and Texas on Friday began to scale back or reverse their reopening plans because of growing outbreaks.