Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s choice to head up the administration’s coronavirus response, has what you might call the reverse of public health expertise, but he could buckle down, work hard, and learn, right? Sure he could—but of course that’s not what Pence is doing.
Pence will be in Longboat Key to raise money for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Tickets to the fundraiser cost $2,500 just to get in the door. It’s $5,000 for a picture with Pence and $25,000 for dinner.
So he’s not exactly studying up on public health and the best responses to a virus outbreak. On the other hand, Pence’s real role in the Trump administration’s coronavirus response appears to be throttling information, with actual government health experts ordered to go to Pence for permission to make public statements. And blocking information from the public is something Pence can do from Florida or anywhere else.
Meanwhile, coronavirus is spreading outside of China, and the U.S. has barely been testing for the disease, so we don’t even know if the 60 cases—not 15, as Trump has repeatedly insisted—confirmed so far in this country are anywhere close to an accurate reflection of the situation. And on Thursday Trump showed his concern and dedication to public health by … hanging out with Diamond and Silk and the D-list stars of a play about Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.