Pence Downplays Threat of Coronavirus, Supreme Court Ruling, & DeSantis Budget Cuts

4 mins read

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]

Yesterday, Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld abortion rights in Louisiana: 

“Today’s ruling is a victory for reproductive freedom. The Supreme Court reaffirmed that the relentless Republican attacks against access to safe and legal abortion are unconstitutional. Today is also a reminder of what is at stake in this election — both of Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, voted against reproductive freedom. Florida Democrats are fighting to elect lawmakers up and down the ballot who will protect every American’s right to reproductive freedom.”

Following the announcement of budget cuts by Ron DeSantis, Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo issued the following statement: 

“From day one of the crisis, DeSantis has ignored public health experts and followed the lead of Donald Trump. The result has been a botched reopening and a recession in Florida. Today, we are seeing the results of DeSantis’ failures to lead. Without consulting the legislature or any elected Democratic leaders, Ron DeSantis made massive budget cuts that will impact the lives of all Floridians. DeSantis must own the consequences of these cuts, which will inevitably hurt our schools, our children, and our families.”

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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