Pence to reschedule campaign events in Arizona, Florida due to coronavirus concerns

The Washington Examiner reported Saturday that the Trump campaign has decided to postpone upcoming events in Florida and Arizona that were set to feature Vice President Mike Pence.

While Pence will not be attending campaign-related public gatherings, the Examiner reports that he will still be traveling to meet with state 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 health care teams,” a spokesperson for the VP told reporters, according to the Examiner.

Surge in cases

The decision comes in the wake of news that both Arizona and Florida are experiencing an upswing in new cases of COVID-19. According to The New York Times, the disease has already infected more than 2.5 million nationwide and killed some 125,724 Americans as of Sunday.

In Florida in particular, the percentage of positive coronavirus tests has gone up dramatically in recent weeks. According to a report from The Hill, 4.39% of tests in the Sunshine State were positive on June 13; but June 23, that number jumped to 15.84%.

By Saturday, that number had declined slightly to 12.82%.

Changing the game

As cases rise, it appears that the demographic most impacted by the disease is also changing. “What we’ve seen, particularly over the last week, is a real explosion in new cases among our younger demographics,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Friday, according to The Hill.

“When we started this in March, the median age of people who tested positive was, I think, 65. As the testing ramped up, that went into the 50s,” the governor added. “But it was pretty much in the 50s for most of the time and then just recently has really plunged.”

According to Politico, DeSantis moved to close bars in Florida again on Friday over concerns about the virus.

Arizona, for its part, recorded more than 3,500 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to Politico.

“An election coming up”

As Politico noted, Pence has served as the chief of Trump’s coronavirus task force, and the White House has shown it’s taking the pandemic seriously, including by reviving its COVID-19 press briefings on Friday. Still, the vice president has been clear that he and other members of the Trump campaign team want to keep making the rounds to see supporters whenever possible.

“We have an election coming up this fall,” the VP said Friday, according to Politico. “President Trump and I believe that taking proper steps, as we’ve created screening at recent events, and giving people the very best counsel that we have, we still want to give people the freedom to participate in the political process, and we respect that.”

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