Although some health experts and political pundits paint the Trump administration as unprepared for the continuing coronavirus crisis, Vice President Mike Pence said this week that this is not the case.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, he said that the worst of the pandemic appears to be over, but that the White House will have all the testing and medical supplies necessary for a possible second wave of the virus.
Pence: Capacity exceeds demand
Although both Pence and President Donald Trump have consistently expressed optimism on the issue, that outlook has often contrasted with media reports portraying the administration as unable to provide adequate testing and other resources.
The coronavirus response has been marked by some highly publicized battles with governors, but now that every state currently at some stage of reopening from related shutdowns, those skirmishes have largely died down.
According to Pence, the nation is on track to move past the pandemic.
Speaking with the Examiner, he cited a sharp increase in available tests and critical equipment across the country since he took over the White House coronavirus task force in March.
During that time, the vice president said the Trump administration has overseen the production of millions of masks and gowns, thousands of ventilators, and at least 14 million tests.
“What we kind of hear regularly from governors is that the capacity of testing in many states around the country exceeds the demand,” Pence claimed in his interview.
“We are on the far end”
Nevertheless, many experts warn of a possible “second wave” of the virus that could be even more severe than the first. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has served as the public face of the task force, recently pulled back on such predictions, noting on Wednesday that another outbreak is “not inevitable,” as the Examiner reported.
In remarks last week to reporters, Trump made it clear that he would not shut down the country again in the case of a second wave, according to the New York Post.
Even as America passed the tragic death toll of 100,000 this week, though, Pence maintained his positive outlook.
“I do think we are on the far end of this epidemic,” he told the Examiner. “And if people will continue to practice commonsense social distancing, I think we will continue to see the downward trend.”