With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing across the United States, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both spoken out about the pandemic. But according to Politico, Trump's statements about the coronavirus have contradicted those by Pence, whom the president put in charge of the White House response to the matter.
Recently, Trump spoke about testing for the respiratory virus, which has, so far, infected over 1,700 individuals in the United States, as Politico reported. Thus far, less than 10,000 people have been tested for coronavirus due to the small number of tests available. When the president spoke about the tests on March 10, he said that anyone can get tested whenever they need it.
"When the professionals need a test, when they need tests for people, they can get the test," he said, adding that "it's gone really well."
However, many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have expressed their frustration about the status of the U.S. testing abilities.
Republican Senator James Lankford spoke out about Trump's statement, saying that it was "not accurate," and that there was still a "long way to go" before rapid testing is available.
Later that day, Pence addressed the issue.
"By the end of the week, there will be more than 4 million more tests made available in jurisdictions around the country."
When speaking about the Grand Princess cruise ship, which was docked along the San Francisco coast for several days after 21 people tested positive for the virus, Trump said that he would prefer the passengers aboard the ship to stay.
"I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship," he remarked.
Pence, however, said that the priority was to "get Americans ashore."
In regard to a vaccine, Trump said that one would roll out "relatively soon." However, when Pence addressed the same issue, he said that it would first go to human trails within "five to six weeks."
Despite the perceived differences in messaging, Pence stated that Trump's highest priority was to put the "health of America first" in a recent interview on the Today Show with Savannah Guthrie, according to NBC News. He added that the administration is choosing to focus on communities where the coronavirus has significantly spread.
In his recent Oval Office address, the president spoke about the coronavirus, saying that the travel ban he plans to institute will reduce the spread of the virus.
"We will ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus," he proclaimed.