Amid mixed messages from the Trump administration regarding how it plans to address growing fears surrounding the spread of coronavirus in the U.S., President Trump announced Wednesday evening that Vice President Mike Pence will be in charge of addressing it.
Trump’s announcement comes on the heels of bipartisan criticism from lawmakers about his administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Politico reported Tuesday that the administration was considering the creation of a “coronavirus czar” whose job would be similar to Ronald Klain’s role as the Obama White House’s Ebola Response Coordinator. Trump said he didn’t think of Pence as a “czar,” since he is in the administration.
While Trump spoke, the Washington Post reported Wednesday evening that the first coronavirus case in the U.S. of unknown origin was confirmed in northern California.
After pledging that his administration “will spend whatever is appropriate” to address the coronavirus outbreak, Trump said that Pence “has a certain talent for this.”
“My role will be to continue to bring that team together, to bring to the president the best options for action to see to the safety and well-being and health of the American people,” Pence said. “We’ll also be continuing to reach out to governors, state and local officials.”
Watch Trump’s announcement below:
Trump announces that Vice President Pence is "in charge" of addressing coronavirus outbreak pic.twitter.com/IEn3yagY7i
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 26, 2020