‘As Pathetic as It Is Reckless’: Mike Pence Ripped for Dismissing Surge in Covid-19 Cases

Gage Skidmore / Flickr trump and pence...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

A day after encouraging governors to parrot White House falsehoods about why Covid-19 cases are spiking in states across the U.S., Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday dismissed fears of a devastating resurgence of the coronavirus as “overblown”—contradicting repeated warnings from the nation’s top infectious disease expert—and declared “we are winning the fight against the invisible enemy.”

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Pence praised “the leadership of President Trump” and slammed the media for “sounding the alarm bells over a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus infections.”

“The media has tried to scare the American people every step of the way, and these grim predictions of a second wave are no different,” Pence wrote. “The truth is, whatever the media says, our whole-of-America approach has been a success.”

The vice president did not mention the staggering Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. or the recent surge in cases reported by Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and other states.

Some critics said the headline of the op-ed—”There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave'”—is accurate, but not in the way Pence intended.

“Pence’s point that there’s been gradual progress is correct, but he glosses over why experts are worried,” wrote Benjy Sarlin of NBC News. “It’s not just a ‘second wave,’ it’s that we never successfully ended the first and even a plateau means a horrifying number of deaths ahead.”

In a series of tweets late Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said the message of Pence’s op-ed is “as pathetic as it is reckless.”

“You’re just going to close your eyes, plug your ears, and pat yourself on the back for the public health catastrophe under your watch?” wrote Warren. “Coronavirus keeps spreading across the country. Hundreds of Americans are still dying every day… Pence shouldn’t be celebrating—he should be making a plan.”

“The White House ignored the threat of Covid-19 until it was too late to stop it, left states without the equipment to fight it, and didn’t track its spread to contain it,” Warren added. “Now they want to wave a magic wand and declare ‘Mission Accomplished.’ Wake up and get to work, VP Pence.”

According to the Washington Post, “nine states—Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas—reported either new single-day highs or set a record for seven-day new case averages on Tuesday.”

“At least 115,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus,” the Post noted, “and more than 2,126,000 cases have been reported.”

Amid the rise in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, Trump on Tuesday touted the reopening of businesses in states across the U.S. and proclaimed, “We’ve done incredibly well.”

“We’re doing well,” Trump said in a speech at the Rose Garden of the White House. “Things are happening that nobody can even believe. Our country is opening up. And it’s opening up rapidly.”

Against the advice of Oklahoma public health officials, Trump is planning to hold an indoor campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday—the president’s first major campaign event since the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered much of the country in March.

During a roundtable discussion in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Monday, Pence—who is planning to attend the Tulsa rally—falsely claimed that Oklahoma has “flattened the curve.” As the New York Times reported, the state has seen “an obvious and steep rise” in Covid-19 cases since relaxing social distancing measures last month, “making it one of 22 states where case counts were growing.”

Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa health department, told the Times that Trump’s rally is “the perfect storm of potential over-the-top disease transmission.”

“It’s a perfect storm that we can’t afford to have,” said Dart.

In a column for The Week on Tuesday, Ryan Cooper wrote that contrary to Pence’s rosy depiction of the nation’s fight against Covid-19, “exponential outbreaks are clearly in progress once again in many states, and they could easily spread to others.”

“Judging from the eagerness of many states to ditch their lockdown measures, the continuously AWOL Trump administration, and the blitheness much of the population is showing about containment precautions,” Cooper warned, “it might even be more likely than not.”

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

4 Comments on "‘As Pathetic as It Is Reckless’: Mike Pence Ripped for Dismissing Surge in Covid-19 Cases"

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Marie Tobias
Member
On the one side, a whole lot of Trump voters are going to die or see their loved ones die. This will almost certainly put a massive dent in the entire Republican future, with Trump at ground zero for the explosion of pure hate and Pence well in the kill zone. On the other side, we are in for a flat out disaster, with no plan, no resources, no acknowledgement that nothing further was done to protect the American people, and that we are on our own in the vacuum of leadership that our Nation demands and deserves. We need… Read more »
Don
Guest

They are both liers.and do. Not. Care
About people of the. USA.so we. Need
To remove. Them. From. Office.now.
Invoke the 25medment.they have kill
A lot people. By nothelping out.

Dave
Guest
Dave
Pence calls himself a Christian, he wouldn’t know a true Christian if one bit him on his behind, he is voluntarily participating in a hoax by telling gullible individuals that COVID 19 is subsiding and this is criminal. It should be noted that although the Trump organization had the participants of the rally sign a legal waiver, that does not include the citizens of Tulsa and I would imagine that if any of the citizens of Tulsa catch the virus due to transmission from someone who attended the rally, then all bets would be off and they would be able… Read more »
Lou
Guest
MIKE SHIT HEAD PENCE, WHAT A PATHIC HUMAN, NOW I KNOW WHY THE GOOD PEOPLE ON INDIANA KICK HIS ASS OUT. AND TOLD HIM MOVE TO ANOTHER STATE. THIS PARASITE SMALL TWIT HAS A BRAIN 1 STEP BELOW A CHIMP, AT LEAST A CHIMP WOULD NOT WIPE TRUMPS ASS AFTER A HARDY SHIT. THIS VIAL THING HAS NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE VIRUS THAN SINGLE CELL AMIBA.. IF YOU LISTEN TO THIS IDIOT YOU LIFE WILL. BE IN JEOPARDY AND YOU WILL DIE. BECAUSE HE SAID AFTER 118,000 DEad we should celebrate WITH A GALA PARTY, JUST HOPE YOUR WIFE DOESN’T… Read more »