The Trump campaign has postponed events next week with Vice President Mike Pence in Florida and Arizona.
A campaign official told NBC News that the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution” as coronavirus cases spike in those two states and others.
Pence will still attend planned meetings with the states’ governors and local officials.
“The Vice President is still traveling to Texas, Arizona, and Florida this week as he said he is meeting with the governors and their healthcare teams,” a spokesperson for the Vice President’s office told CNN.
There are nearly 9.9 million reported cases of the coronavirus across the globe, and more than 491,000 COVID-19 patients have died.
In the United States, nearly 2.5 million people have tested positive for the coronavirus, with the nation’s death toll totaling more than 125,000. Almost 30 million people in the U.S. have been tested for COVID-19, according to the latest reading of the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
Spikes in cases were reported last week, prompting some governors to reconsider how quickly they are reopening their states’ economies.
The Arizona Department of Health Services also reported an uptick of nearly 3,600 new cases between Friday and Saturday. There are more than 70,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona and approximately 1,500 deaths.
Pence, who oversees the White House coronavirus task force, claimed on Friday during a briefing that the U.S. had successfully “flattened the curve” of the disease, even as spikes were being reported in multiple states. The vice president referred to the amount of testing the U.S. has conducted as a “national accomplishment.”
Pence also told reporters during the briefing that he planned to travel to Texas, Florida, and Arizona to “get a ground report.” Pence is expected to speak at a “Celebrate Freedom Rally” at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas on Sunday and will later meet with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott about the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CNN.
During a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the first since the coronavirus outbreak slammed the U.S., Trump said he told members of his administration to decrease the amount of testing for the coronavirus in the U.S., claiming it would give a false representation of COVID-19 spikes and further worsen the economy.
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people. You’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people: ‘Slow the testing down, please,’” Trump said.
This week, the Trump administration also announced it will end funding for drive-thru coronavirus testing sites across the country by the end of June.
The move will affect testing sites in Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Colorado, and Pennsylvania, but Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s testing czar, told reporters on a Wednesday phone call that the federal government is not “withdrawing” support for the sites but rather “providing federal support in a different way.”
The post Trump campaign postpones Pence events in Florida and Arizona as coronavirus cases spike appeared first on Washington Examiner.