Vice President Mike Pence indefinitely postponed a planned bus tour in Florida to benefit his and President Donald Trump’s re-election as the state experiences a massive spike in confirmed coronavirus cases.
The Republican Party of Sarasota announced Saturday that the stop, part of Pence’s “Faith In America” tour, was off for now.
“Stay tuned for updates on the new time for Vice President’s visit,” an email blast reads.
The news came the same day Florida reported another 9,585 cases of coronavirus – surpassing yesterday’s record 8,942 cases.
Just days earlier, Pence touted the federal government’s “success” in containing the US’s coronavirus epidemic and slammed the press for “sounding the alarm bells over a ‘second wave'” of Covid-19 infections.
“Such panic is overblown,” Pence wrote on June 16th in a Wall Street Journal op-ed about recent reports that the country could see a resurgence of the virus.
“Thanks to the leadership of President Trump and the courage and compassion of the American people, our public health system is far stronger than it was four months ago, and we are winning the fight against the invisible enemy,” he wrote, while failing to mention that coronavirus cases are on the rise in over 20 states — many of the same places that were quick to loosen social distancing orders and reopen businesses.
“The media has tried to scare the American people every step of the way, and these grim predictions of a second wave are no different,” he wrote. “We’ve slowed the spread, we’ve cared for the most vulnerable, we’ve saved lives, and we’ve created a solid foundation for whatever challenges we may face in the future. That’s a cause for celebration, not the media’s fear mongering.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump-aligned Republican, slammed speculation last month that Florida would see a second wave of infections and adopted the White House’s strategy of blaming the media for hyping the danger.
“We succeeded and I think people just don’t want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative, it challenges their assumption, so they got to try to find a boogeyman,” he told reporters on May 20.