As coronavirus spikes in California, Texas and Florida—and on a day when only two states saw a drop in cases—the country is on high alert over COVID-19. After a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing on Friday—the first in two months—Vice President Mike Pence took to the airwaves Sunday morning to discuss why the numbers are going up from his point of view.
“What is happening here is a combination of increased testing—we’re able to test a great deal more Americans than we were able to several months ago—but it also may be indication that as we’re opening our economy up, that younger Americans have been congregating in ways that may have disregarded the guidance that we gave on the federal level for all the phases of reopening,” Pence said on Face the Nation on Sunday.
“One of the things that we’ve heard in Texas and Florida, in particular, is that nearly half of those who are testing positive are Americans under the age of 35,” Pence said. “That’s contributing to the fact that those that are requiring to be hospitalized, who are testing positive for coronavirus, is significantly lower than it was two months ago.”
“We Want to Defer to Local Officials”
The Vice President was scheduled to appear at campaign events in Arizona and Florida this week but they have been canceled “out of an abundance of caution.” He applauded the Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, a Republican, for managing the crisis. “It’s clear across the Sunbelt that there’s something happening, particularly among younger Americans,” he said. “And that’s why we fully support Governor Abbott’s decision to close bars and limit restaurants. We fully support steps taken in Florida and elsewhere. And we’ll continue to support those efforts.”
Pence said he felt people should wear masks when social distancing is not possible but said there would be no federal mandate.
“President Trump and I, after asking the American people to embrace 45 days to slow the spread, we issued guidelines to reopen America,” he said on the show. “And since that day nearly two months ago, we’ve made it clear that we want to defer to governors. We want to defer to local officials, and people should listen to them.”
Record Number of Hospitalizations
“Hospitals in Texas and Arizona are admitting coronavirus patients in record numbers as new infections continue to climb across southern and western states, with the total number of infections in the United States approaching 2.5 million,” reports the Washington Post. “Global cases of COVID-19 exceeded 10 million on Sunday, according to a count maintained by Johns Hopkins University, a measure of the power and spread of a pandemic that has caused vast human suffering, devastated the world’s economy and still threatens vulnerable populations in rich and poor nations alike.” As for yourself, listen to the CDC: “Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations,” says the agency. In addition, wash your hands frequently, don’t go out unless it’s essential, practice social distancing, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.