Vice President Mike Pence is moving forward with a trip to Texas on Sunday as the state rushes to respond to a coronavirus surge. https://t.co/7WJjPyfyIb— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) June 26, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence is moving forward with a trip to Texas on Sunday as the state rushes to respond to a coronavirus surge.
For over a week, Pence has been scheduled to speak at First Baptist Dallas, a church led by Pastor Robert Jeffress, an enthusiastic supporter of President Donald Trump. But the coronavirus situation in Texas has deteriorated quickly in recent days, and Pence indicated Friday that his Texas visit will at least partially focus on the outbreak now.
Pence, who chairs the White House coronavirus task force, said during a briefing that he will bring another task force member, Dr. Deborah Birx, to Texas on Sunday as part of a tour of hotspot states "to get a ground report." Pence's office announced later Friday that Pence will meet with Gov. Greg Abbott and his "healthcare team" following the church appearance.
Dallas, which Pence is visiting Sunday, has been particularly hard hit by the virus. The county judge, Clay Jenkins, said Friday morning the county will report another record high of daily new cases — 496 — later Friday.
It remains to be seen how large the First Baptist event will be. The church says on its website that there will be temperature screenings at the door, and no one whose temperature is over 100.4 degrees will be allowed to remain on the premises. Masks and social distancing are "strongly encouraged," according to the website.
Which doesn't mean as much as it seems to mean:
"If they have to do it, I hope they do it outside, and if they do it outside, I hope they keep it to less than 100 people," Jenkins said, "and that's not really safe, but they have a right do it."*
To recap: Pence, the "head" of the "coronavirus task force" for the U.S. government, is coming to one of the hardest hit cities in one of the hardest hit states, and bringing Dr. Birx and Ben Carson with him, and John Cornyn is appearing to because election in November, and all because...why, again? So the GOP can hold another super-spreader event?
'Tis a mystery.
*Actually they don't. The public has a right, and even an obligation, to ban such gatherings as a clear and present danger (!) to public health. But government is the problem, not the solution, so....