As Tulsa officials plead with the Trump campaign to either cancel its rally there this weekend or hold it outdoors, Mike Pence pretended the state’s spike in cases was no big deal.
Mike Pence is the head of Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force so while leadership may be too much to hope for, straight talk about the deadly pandemic shouldn’t be.
Pence bizarrely cited the First Amendment as a right to hold the rally and “tell the story of what this president has done through these unprecedented times but also over the last three and a half years.”
Cohost Steve Doocy suggested that Trump hold the rally outdoors “just in the interest of public safety” as far as coronavirus contagion is concerned. He didn’t mention the Tulsa officials' request not to worsen an already troubling spike in cases.
“It’s all a work in progress,” Pence said. He claimed that there has been “such an overwhelming response,” they’re looking at another venue. “We’re also looking at outside activities,” he added. He also talked up measures such as temperature screening, providing hand sanitizers and, yes, masks.
Then he began painting a false picture of the pandemic in Oklahoma:
PENCE: One of the reasons that we chose Oklahoma is because Oklahoma has done such a remarkable job in reopening their state. … We're seeing across the board in the country hospitalizations are declining. Most importantly, our fatalities are declining. But in the State of Oklahoma, we’ve really seen a tremendous amount of progress. I think the numbers this morning showed that the state had some 8500 positive cases overall. But only about 1500 of those cases were still active and less than 200 people in the hospital. That is a tribute to the people of Oklahoma. The progress we’ve made as a country is a tribute, I think, to the president’s leadership and the guidance, the mitigation efforts that we promoted to governors but it’s mostly a tribute to the fact that the American people put the health of their families and their neighbors and people that they didn’t know all first.
And it’s that common sense that Americans continue to put into practice every day that I’m sure people will put into practice come this Saturday, that’s gonna keep Oklahoma and keep all of America on a trajectory of safely reopening America, which is exactly what we are doing.
While Oklahoma reported just 41 new cases of COVID-19 on May 28, the lowest number it had recorded since late March, the number of positive tests has risen since then. Over the weekend, the state set records for the number of new cases on both Saturday (222) and Sunday (225). On Monday, the state reported another 186 new cases.
Tulsa County, which includes the city of Tulsa, tallied 89 new coronavirus cases on Monday, its one-day high since the virus’s outbreak, according to the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency. The number of active coronavirus cases climbed to 532 from 188 in a one-week period, a 182 percent increase; hospitalizations with Covid-19 almost doubled.
You can watch the misleading and enabling below, from the June 16, 2020 Fox & Friends.