In an exclusive interview with Breitbart on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed that President Donald Trump has made reopening the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic a top priority for his administration.
“Nobody wants to reopen this country more than President Donald Trump,” Pence told Breitbart, adding that “there are serious health consequences if we were to continue indefinitely the lockdowns that we asked the American people to embrace for 45 days.”
Always looking forward
As Pence noted Saturday, the Trump administration has long been confident that the coronavirus wouldn’t shut down the country for long. But while the “45 Days to Slow the Spread” program has already come to an end without a solid plan for reopening nationwide, there’s some big progress being made in that regard, Pence said.
“We equipped governors around the country to be ready for when the 45 Days to Slow the Spread came to an end,” the vice president told Breitbart. “Georgia and Florida and other states around the country evaluated the cases in their state, evaluated the data, and have been and have taken steps that are now demonstrating that we can safely and responsibly reopen our economy without putting the people of this country’s health and wellbeing at risk.”
Pence also praised Florida Gov. Brian Kemp (R), who appeared alongside him at an event Saturday, as well as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for their handling of the coronavirus outbreaks in their respective states.
“I think Gov. Kemp also and Gov. DeSantis also recognize that this isn’t a choice between health and a growing economy. It really is a choice between health and health,” Pence said, according to Breitbart.
It’s not all about the economy
Democrats, for their part, have been pitching the narrative that we cannot reopen the U.S. safely until we have a vaccine for COVID-19, a stance with which even top medical experts do not agree.
“I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of President Trump’s pandemic response team, said recently, according to CNBC.
That’s not even to mention the growing mental health crisis in America: doctors in California have said suicides in the state are rising at a staggering rate, and that’s just one example.
Even so, some Democrat governors, such as Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan and Tom Wolf in Pennsylvania, are refusing to even consider a full reopening until a coronavirus vaccine is developed, according to reports.
But while those governors resist, the Trump administration will continue to push for states to reopen and to do so safely, still keeping social distancing, hygiene, and cleanliness in mind as they move forward, Pence told Breitbart on Saturday.
“I must tell you, I know the president is as grateful as I am that as we sit here today, 50 states — all 50 states — have begun the process of reopening their economies,” the vice president remarked, according to Breitbart.