Coronavirus cases are on the rise in some areas of the country, including Arizona, Texas, and Florida, and there’s seemingly more tough times on the horizon — late last week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) claimed that health officials informed him they believed the current outbreak would continue for at least a couple or a few more weeks. Vice President Mike Pence was tapped to lead the White House’s Coronavirus task force back when the pandemic first emerged in the U.S. — and although it’s been months, neither he nor his political allies have rolled out any kind of effective plan to ensure the safety of Americans, as evidenced by the increasing cases and deaths. During an interview that aired on CBS this Sunday, Pence ridiculously derided the idea that he should even be responsible to help develop much of any further concrete national plans in the first place.
Apparently, he thinks that the guidelines issued some time ago by the federal government were more than enough, although anyone who calls the current situation a success has no relationship to reality. In reality, over 125,000 Americans have died, and over 2.5 million have been infected.
Pence told CBS host John Dickerson:
‘We believe that every state has a unique situation. And I want to be clear, while we’re monitoring about 16 states that are seeing outbreaks, it represents about 4 percent of all the counties in this country. 34 states are not seeing a rise in positivity, and they have different measures, different requirements, and different guidance in place. I mean, one of the elements of the genius of America is the principle of federalism, of state and local control… We’ve made it clear that we want to defer to governors, we want to defer to local officials, and people should listen to them.’
WATCH: @jdickerson presses @VP Pence on why the administration and @RealDonaldTrump has muddled messaging to #maskup during #COVID@VP: "One of the elements of the genius of America is the principle of federalism, of state and local control…we want to defer to local officials" pic.twitter.com/lSEaJfYT1k
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) June 27, 2020
The political concept of federalism entails a separation of powers between the national and local levels, but that concept has no relationship to actually curtailing the spread of the virus, which spreads everywhere.
Right then and there, Dickerson commented to Pence:
‘The virus doesn’t knew federalism. A virus that hits in Texas is in New York tomorrow. This is a problem that requires a coordinated national result, which is what these outbreaks are showing, and so to say that states should deal with them individually seems to miss the big fact, which is the virus can go wherever it wants.’
.@VP Pence: "One of the elements of the genius of America is the principle of federalism, of state and local control…"@jdickerson: "The virus doesn't know federalism….this is a problem that requires a coordinated national result" https://t.co/AGynTP0z4r pic.twitter.com/pkhR3KylGx
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) June 28, 2020
Federalism is not the only excuse that the Trump team has used for seemingly refusing to take the ongoing virus outbreak seriously. President Trump and some of his allies have also claimed that increases in numbers of confirmed cases are due to increases in testing, but around the country, the rate of newly reported cases has been increasing at a faster rate than the increase in testing.
Week over week, testing is up in states experiencing the largest epidemic spread of Covid; but new Covid cases are up to a greater degree. The exception is Florida, where Covid cases are up, but testing has declined week-over-week based on reported data. pic.twitter.com/DmUfVS4VGl
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) June 25, 2020
Additionally, in some areas — as Pence himself noted! — there’s been an increase in the portion of tests coming back positive, which means that the virus is spreading. If the portion of the population who is infected was staying the same, then as tests increase, the portion of them that come back positive should go down.