Vice President Mike Pence speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
UPDATED 11:56 AM PT — Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence has urged Americans to follow stay-at-home guidelines to reduce the amount of coronavirus deaths.
In an interview Wednesday, he dismissed the notion President Trump was downplaying the threat of the virus as recently as this month by saying the president is simply an optimistic person.
Pence said the president has expressed confidence the country will meet the challenges of this moment and heaped praise on health care workers as well as first responders. He then called on U.S. citizens to heed the guidelines of the White House coronavirus task force to help stop the spread of the COVID-19.
“I want everybody to know that we are taking this one American at a time,” said Pence. “And I think if everybody takes the same view and recognizes that if all of us do all that we can to head these guidelines, to listen to state and local authorities, we’re not just going to bring numbers down, we’re going to save lives.”
Pence was asked about the task force projections that at least 100,000 Americans could lose their life to the virus even if mitigation measures are being followed. He said he doesn’t want to downplay the loss of life, but wants to avoid as many casualties as possible.