Vice President Mike Pence joined members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on Thursday in urging Americans to remain vigilant amid the CCP virus pandemic, saying that a national lockdown is “not necessary” to stem the recent surge in infections.
In the first task force briefing since July, Pence expressed confidence in the nation’s ability to curb the transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, assuring Americans that the Trump administration has “a plan in place.”
“America has never been more prepared to combat this virus than we are today,” Pence said.
From early in this pandemic, at President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, we have followed an approach that was federally supported, state managed, and locally executed and this past Monday we completed our 41st conference call with all of our Nation’s Governors. pic.twitter.com/v0xbrVAEIk
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) November 19, 2020
“From very early in this pandemic, at the president’s direction, we have followed an approach to this pandemic that was federally supported, state managed, and locally executed,” Pence continued.
“We will continue to respect decisions that state governments are making in effort to slow the spread. But to be very clear, President Trump has been clear that we do not support another national lockdown and do not believe it is necessary. Dr. Fauci reflected again we are not calling for a national lockdown, and we won’t.”
Pence continued to speak encouragingly about the country’s process on vaccine development and plans for rapid distribution.
On Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said optimism exists for two safe and effective vaccines from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna that may be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within a few weeks.
“Help is on the way. We have every confidence that in a short period of time, we could have one or more safe and effective vaccines for the American people. And as each of us does our part in partnership with state and local officials, each of us does our part to look after our own families and our own communities, I believe the day is coming soon when we’ll put this coronavirus in the past,” the vice president said.
Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, said Wednesday that every state across the country will have access to some doses of a CCP virus vaccine within 24 hours of proper authorization.
“Every American can be proud of the fact that we have a plan in place. The moment that the FDA concludes that that vaccine is safe and effective, we have a system in place to begin—within 24 hours—shipping that vaccine to hospitals health care facilities, and 24-hour after that, literally injecting that vaccine into Americans, and we’ll also be continuing to develop the prioritization working with states about their plans.”
Pence noted that the vulnerable, health care workers, and first responders will be prioritized initially.
“Let me say personally, not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought personally about families that have lost loved ones, and I want to assure each of you that you will always be in our hearts and you will remain in our prayers. But we wanted to take this opportunity also to thank the American people for the extraordinary sacrifices that you’ve made over the course of the past 10 months,” he added.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” added Azar, referring to the future distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. “This isn’t forever.”
The United States on Thursday recorded 170,200 new infections of COVID-19—the second-highest daily count since the outbreak began—according to government data collated by Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 250,000 deaths nationwide since the start of the pandemic.