Vice President Mike Pence celebrated “remarkable progress” against the coronavirus, although he acknowledged an increase in the number of cases and the surprising number of deaths due to the pandemic during the information meeting of the first group of work on the coronavirus in the months of Friday.
“We have slowed the spread. We flattened the curve. We have saved lives, “Pence told reporters at a task force briefing on Friday – this time for the first time at the Department of Health and Human Services.
He offered his “sympathies and deepest condolences” to families and victims – and launched the briefing citing grim statistics, with 125,000 dead and more than 2.5 million Americans infected.
He made the comments at the first public briefing of the Coronavirus task force that he leads in two months, even as the pandemic continued to ravage the nation. Pence and senior health officials spoke for an hour, then answered a few questions where the Vice President defended Trump campaign rallies in the midst of the pandemic and refused to urge Americans to wear masks.
As he has done in White House briefings in the past, Pence praised President Trump’s actions, including the blocking of many travelers from China, even though opinion polls show that the public is unhappy with the way the administration has handled the pandemic.
“We have slowed the spread. We flattened the curve. We have saved lives, “said Vice President Mike Pence at the Coronavirus task force’s first briefing in two months
He said it was time to “step back and reflect on our progress as a country” and said he wanted to talk about “what we see and what we do and how it is different two months since. ‘
“We have made truly remarkable progress in advancing our nation,” said Pence.
He expressed condolences to families who have lost loved ones, making the statistics appear more than once, rather than bypassing the results.
He noted that there was one day this week when the nation lost 2,500 Americans in one day.
“I will be going to Florida on Thursday next week to get a ground report,” he said, although the Trump campaign also announced a campaign event that day.
Coronavirus task force held first public information meeting in two months on Friday
“The truth is that we have slowed the spread. We flattened the curve, “he said.
“We are in a much better position with the efforts that President Trump has mobilized at the federal level,” said Pence.
Pence urged the nation to pray for those who have lost loved ones.
With President Trump continuing to attack critics and spread “false news” for neglecting his efforts, Pence adopted soothing tones, telling the nation, “We are all in the same boat. “
“Just keep praying that, by the grace of God, every day, each of us will do our part to heal our land,” insisted Pence.
He said 34 states had “some stability”. But he acknowledged that 16 states had “an increase in cases and percentages”. These states include Florida, which recorded a jump of nearly 9,000 cases in one day. This is where Pence heads for his indoor “Faith in America” event on Thursday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, appearing after giving warnings during testimony in the House, urged young people to join in social distancing to protect other citizens.
“When you have an infectious disease epidemic, it’s a dynamic process that is global,” said Fauci.
“If you are infected, you are innocently or inadvertently involved in the spread of the dynamic processes of a pandemic,” he said.
“When you are infected, you will infect someone else who will clearly infect someone else. He urged young people to think, “You have a social responsibility. Because if you want to end this epidemic, really end it … we have to realize that we are part of the process. “
He said that the most difficult thing about COVID-19 was the high percentage of people who did not show symptoms but continued to spread the virus.
Fauci said he didn’t want to blame, although he did allow some people to point to “maybe open a little too early” or “don’t really follow the steps in an orderly manner” when it reopens.
But he said in some cases that “the citizens didn’t feel like they wanted to do this.”
“Everyone has the common feeling of being turned away for such a long period of time,” said Fauci.
Asked by DailyMail.com if he expected the death rate to rise, Pence replied, “Our hope and prayer is not. “
“One is too much. We mourn the loss of every American life, ”added Pence.
Pence twice rejected the premise of questions that the Trump campaign was setting a bad example, by organizing a rally in Tulsa where personnel and the secret service were to quarantine, and by organizing an indoor rally in Phoenix where the young people mostly ignored the advice on wearing masks.
He was asked if the campaign said to people “do what I say, not what I do”.
“I would like to remind you again that freedom of expression and the right to assemble peacefully are enshrined in the Constitution of the United States,” said Pence. “And even in a health crisis, the American people do not lose our constitutional rights.”
“I think it is really important that we recognize the importance of freedom and personal responsibility for this whole equation. “