Pence, who leads the White House’s coronavirus task force, attempted to deliver an upbeat assessment of the federal response to the ongoing public health crisis in the opinion piece ― headlined “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’” ― that the Wall Street Journal published Tuesday.
“We are winning the fight against the invisible enemy,” Pence declared, dismissing fears of a second wave of the pandemic, even as multiple states registered a significant uptick in cases following the easing of lockdown orders.
Pence also praised President Donald Trump’s leadership (which has been widely condemned) and accused the media of attempting to “scare the American people every step of the way” with its coverage of the outbreak that’s now killed more than 119,000 people nationwide. Globally, the coronavirus has sickened more than 8 million and claimed at least 446,000 lives.
Critics of the column accused Pence of trying to gaslight the public.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) described it “as pathetic as it is reckless.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) mockingly tweeted that “Dr. Pence would not be somebody I’d go to for a medical checkup or for medical advice.”
CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta warned via a lengthy Twitter thread that “we are still in the thick of the first wave” and “the fight is far from over.”
Others echoed the sentiment about still being in the first wave:
Some people accused Pence of taking a premature victory lap:
And called the vice president out for failing to acknowledge the death toll:
Many suggested the piece will not age well:
CNN’s Anderson Cooper, meanwhile, noted how “there’s no better BS detector out there than COVID-19.”
“Just wait a few weeks and it tells you whether you’ve been truthful about it or not,” he said Tuesday. “The answer comes back in case counts, hospitalization rates and its devastating impact on human lives.”
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