Ocasio-Cortez Says Putting Pence in Charge of Coronavirus Effort ‘Irresponsible’ Because He ‘Literally Does Not Believe in Science’

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez late Wednesday condemned President Donald Trump’s decision to put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the administration’s coronavirus response as an “utterly irresponsible” move that could have deadly consequences.

“Mike Pence literally does not believe in science,” tweeted Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat. “It is utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of U.S. coronavirus response as the world sits on the cusp of a pandemic. This decision could cost people their lives. Pence’s past decisions already have.”

Ocasio-Cortez pointed to Pence’s tenure as Indiana governor, where she said his “science denial contributed to one of the worst HIV outbreaks in Indiana’s history.”

“He is not a medical doctor. He is not a health expert,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “He is not qualified nor positioned in any way to protect our public health.”

 

The Verge reported following Trump’s announcement Wednesday that as governor of Indiana, Pence “slashed public health spending and delayed the introduction of needle exchanges, which led to the state’s worst outbreak of HIV.”

Gregg Gonsalves—a Yale epidemiologist who co-authored a 2018 paper connecting Pence’s policy decisions as governor to the 2014 HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana—denounced the president’s decision to allow Pence to coordinate the administration’s coronavirus response.

“Over 200 people were infected with HIV in an outbreak, met with ignorance, bumbling, incompetence, and ideological intransigence. Two hundred needlessly infected, now on medication for life at great costs to themselves and the state,” Gonsalves tweeted Thursday morning. “Now Donald Trump has put Mike Pence in charge of coronavirus.”

“It’s like putting an arsonist in charge of the fire department, a bank robber in charge of the U.S. Mint,” Gonsalves added. “Donald Trump made the choice of putting someone absolutely not up to the task to this crucial position. It endangers us all. This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue—we have the potential for coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and we needed to rise above the partisan fray.”

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2 Comments on "Ocasio-Cortez Says Putting Pence in Charge of Coronavirus Effort ‘Irresponsible’ Because He ‘Literally Does Not Believe in Science’"

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Rose
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Rose

When I have seen this on the news, my first thought was: We’re in trouble now.

Independent
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Independent
He chose pence so when we have an epidemic he will have someone to blame. pence has been hiding in the shadows but now he is in the spot light. He says he will bring the experts together and advise donnie. How many people will have the virus while they are getting together and trying to figure out what to do. Good People have been fired and funds have been cut. This is all on donnie. Maybe the wall will keep it out. Scary scary scary. It does appear the governors are taking action.