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Ahead of Visit, Pence Downplays Threat of Coronavirus as Cases Surge in Florida

Though Mike Pence indefinitely postponed a planned campaign bus tour in Florida, the White House confirmed he’s still visiting the Sunshine State for a meeting with Governor Ron DeSantis this week.

Approximately one month after Pence was in Florida for an attempted victory tour — complete with photo-ops that undermined CDC’s guidance for preventing the spread of COVID-19 — Pence is coming back to do damage control and downplay the Trump administration’s failure in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview yesterday with the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Pence previewed his likely messaging for his upcoming Florida visit. Take a look:

PENCE: “Because of the public-private partnership that President Trump initiated, we are literally able to test anyone in the country that would want a test who comes forward.”

REALITY: Throughout Florida, demand for COVID-19 is high, with people waiting several hours to get tested. In Pinellas county, a testing site closed early because they ran out of tests. In Orlando, Floridians waited overnight to get tested.

PENCE: “Well, I think it’s inarguable that the historic increase in testing that we’ve accomplished in this country has played a role in the new cases, particularly among younger Americans.”

REALITY: “Covid-19 Surge Begins Reaching Older, More Vulnerable Floridians” [Bloomberg, 6.29.20]

REALITY: “The spike in cases far exceeds the increase in testing.” [Tampa Bay Times, 6.29.20]

PENCE: “But what the American people should know is that because of the leadership that President Trump has provided, because of the extraordinary innovation that we have brought to this task, we are- we’re in a much better place to respond to these outbreaks than we were four months ago.”

REALITY: “JMH Health Care Workers Union President: ‘Nurses Are Going Into Second Battle And We’re Limping’ [CBS Miami, 6.25.20]

REALITY: “Hospitals are filled at nearly 75 percent capacity across the state.” [Tampa Bay Times, 6.29.29]

REALITY: “Central Florida needs more coronavirus contact tracers, officials say” [Orlando Sentinel, 6.27.20]

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