The Hill’s Brett Samuels reports that Vice President Mike Pence is done with all this Debbie Downer talk about a second wave of that silly old news people call the COVID-19 global pandemic:
Vice President Pence on Tuesday blamed the media for stoking concerns of a “second wave” of coronavirus in the United States, insisting in an op-ed that the Trump administration’s response has been successful even as infections are climbing in several states.
The vice president, who leads the White House coronavirus task force, wrote in The Wall Street Journal that panic over a rebound in coronavirus cases is “overblown” while touting the administration’s handling of the pandemic.
“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,” Pence wrote.
As readers know, every time the Trump administration has declared that this pandemic is overblown or past tense, they’ve been totally right! Although in this case, talk of a “second wave” may itself be a little off base since:
Experts have disputed that the country is facing a second wave, instead expressing concern that the country never fully got past the first wave of infections. [Pols emphasis] There have been more than 2.1 million cases in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data, and more than 116,000 people in the country have died from the virus.
CNN reports that in the process of declaring COVID a done deal, Pence is getting the most basic of facts backwards:
During a White House roundtable Monday, Vice President Mike Pence claimed that Oklahoma – where President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally Saturday – has seen a decline in the number of coronavirus cases.
“In a very real sense they’ve flattened the curve,” Pence said of Oklahoma. “The number of cases in Oklahoma has declined precipitously.”
Facts First: Oklahoma’s number of newly reported positive cases has been increasing since late May, not steeply declining. A record 225 new cases were reported in Oklahoma on Saturday… [Pols emphasis]
Although COVID-19 cases are in decline in almost two dozen states including Colorado, cases are growing rapidly in some of our neighboring states as well as California–which as Sen. Jim Smallwood can tell you is “droplet-bonded” with the rest of the West. Meanwhile, the latest prediction from the often-cited Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington has revised the estimate upward to 200,000 Americans dead by October 1–a number approaching the worst-case range of predictions from late March.
By this point, a majority of Americans understand that when the Trump administration tells you not to panic, it’s time to…well, not panic, because that’s never the right response.
But it means the news is bad.