Vice President Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, and at least two other White House staffers were diagnosed with the Coronavirus yesterday. Samples from Pence himself are said to have been negative and he intends to continue his travels during the election campaign.
Recently, President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania, their son, and some 30 advisers to the president and White House staff became infected with the virus. This time it was Marc Short, Pence’s office manager, who was diagnosed with the infection. He has played a major role in the White House working group due to the epidemic and has spoken out against strict disease control measures.
Short is said to have symptoms and is in isolation. Mary Obst, one of Pence’s closest political advisers outside the White House, is also infected but has traveled with the Vice President, according to the Washington Post.
Although Pence is believed to have been in close contact with Short, he does not intend to quarantine but will continue to travel to the election rally in the next few days, according to Devins O’Malley, a spokesman for the vice president. Pence had decided to do so “in consultation with the White House medical team” and in accordance with the guidelines of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC’s guidelines for essential workers, such as Pence, stipulate that those who have been exposed to the infection should closely monitor their symptoms and wear a mask around other people.
An infectious disease specialist interviewed by the AP news agency is surprised that Pence intends to continue his election campaign and travels. It is “gross negligence”.
“This is just an insult to all those who have worked for public health and health care. I also find it really harmful and disrespectful to people who go to the polls,” said Saskia Popescu of George Mason University, who believes Pence should stay at home for 14 days.
President Trump said he thought Pence was going to quarantine when reporters questioned him about the White House infection. According to the Vice President’s agenda, he will speak at an election rally in Kinston, North Carolina today.
"That's all I hear about now. Turn on TV, 'Covid, Covid, Covid Covid Covid.' A plane goes down, 500 people dead, they don't talk about it. 'Covid Covid Covid Covid.' By the way, on November 4th, you won't hear about it anymore … 'please don't go and vote, Covid!'" — Trump pic.twitter.com/1bh7x2RSTy
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 24, 2020
Coronavirus infections are now on the rise in the United States and a new one-day infection was recorded on Friday when more than 82,000 people were diagnosed with the infection. Nevertheless, Trump continues to downplay the epidemic, claiming that he is in decline at his election rallies.