Vice President Mike Pence said on Sunday that it was “understandable” that President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., would say that Democrats want “millions” of Americans to die of the coronavirus.
Trump Jr. on Friday accused Democrats of politicizing the spread of the coronavirus.
“Anything that they can use to try to hurt Trump, they will,” Trump Jr. told Fox News. “But for them to try to take a pandemic and seemingly hope that it comes here and kills millions of people so that they could end Donald Trump’s streak of winning is a new level of sickness.”
In an interview that aired on Sunday, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Pence about Trump Jr.’s controversial remarks.
“Can we agree that neither Democrats or Republicans wants Americans to get the coronavirus and die?” Tapper asked the vice president. “You don’t think Democrats want people to contract the coronavirus and die?”
“This is no time for politics,” the vice president said, declining to answer directly. “And, frankly, I think that was Don Jr.’s point. That there has been some very strong rhetoric directed at the president by some members of Congress.”
“You don’t think that was strong rhetoric [from Trump Jr.]?” Tapper pressed.
“But responding to the kind of things that have been hurled is understandable,” Pence replied, before arguing that his administration has “set the politics aside.”
“I continue to believe that we have an opportunity to come together,” he added. “And with the proper expertise, and the proper resources and the prayers of millions of Americans, we’re going to get through this.”