Vice President Mike Pence in an op-ed ripped the media for inciting panic about a second wave of the coronavirus cases, calling the coverage “overblown,” while touting the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic.
“In recent days, the media has taken to sounding the alarm bells over a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus infections. Such panic is overblown,” Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Tuesday. “Thanks to the leadership of President Trump and the courage and compassion of the American people, our public health system is far stronger than it was four months ago, and we are winning the fight against the invisible enemy.”
“The media has tried to scare the American people every step of the way, and these grim predictions of a second wave are no different. The truth is, whatever the media says, our whole-of-America approach has been a success,” he added. “We’ve slowed the spread, we’ve cared for the most vulnerable, we’ve saved lives, and we’ve created a solid foundation for whatever challenges we may face in the future. That’s a cause for celebration, not the media’s fear-mongering.”
Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force, pointed to data showing that “more than half” of the states are seeing a “decline or remain stable” in cases while noting that deaths are “down to fewer than 750 a day” in the past five days.
“While talk of an increase in cases dominates cable news coverage, more than half of states are actually seeing cases decline or remain stable,” Pence wrote. “Lost in the coverage is the fact that today less than 6% of Americans tested each week are found to have the virus. Cases have stabilized over the past two weeks, with the daily average case rate across the U.S. dropping to 20,000—down from 30,000 in April and 25,000 in May.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a report noting that despite signs of ongoing transmission across the country, the average daily reported case and death are declining.
The Vice President argued that the small increased number of new confirmed cases is a result of expanding testing, that he said has helped public health officials identify where most of the outbreaks are occurring in “particular settings” and “contain them.”
“We’ve expanded testing across the board. As of this week, we are performing roughly 500,000 tests a day, and more than 23 million tests have been performed in total,” he noted. “Every state, territory, and major metropolitan area, with the exception of three, have positive test rates under 10%. And in the six states that have reached more than 1,000 new cases a day, increased testing has allowed public health officials to identify most of the outbreaks in particular settings—prisons, nursing homes, and meatpacking facilities—and contain them.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert in an interview with the Wall Street Journal also agreed with Pence on the notion that the United States is facing a second wave, saying the country is still dealing with the first wave of the outbreak.
“People keep talking about a second wave,” Dr. Fauci said. “We’re still in a first wave.”
According to Johns Hopkins University data latest report, there have been more than 2.1 million confirmed cases and 116,140 deaths from the coronavirus.