Mike Pence – US Vice President – is the man President Donald Trump sends to the epicenter to show that the coronavirus is being taken seriously, including in the White House.
Mike Pence travels around the worst affected areas of the United States with a dull thing in his luggage.
The trip was close to being canceled because a large portion of his security guards fell ill with covid-19. Not a good start for a vice president whose boss has long belittled the disease and sent a series of confusing signals about the true danger of the coronavirus.
So the Corona optimist vice president, who supports Donald Trump in one and all, was already rooting in praise to Arizona’s hard-tried governor when Mike Pence landed in the state as the first destination. But the rose was not well-groomed.
In a state that is the epicenter of the infection, with more than 85,000 infected and nearly 2,000 dead, Mike Pence commended Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for leading the state excellently under “these difficult conditions” and especially standing together with the Trump administration in the fight against the coronavirus.
It did not provide bonus in Arizona’s media, which was just more than tired of the governor. He has not acted fast enough when the virus returned a week ago with great force, destroying everything that had otherwise succeeded in Arizona, one of the local media writes.
Arizona as an example?
“Arizona was a role model. They managed to break the curve of infected and sick people, and then something happened in mid-May, ”Mike Pence noted. And the answer was right with Ducey’s overly quick reopening of the state in a mixture of zeal to get the economy going and a trivialization of the real danger of the coronavirus. But Pence did not mention it on that occasion.
“We certainly underestimated this virus,” as Ashish Jha, director at Harvard University’s global health institute puts it. He fears that the United States is well on its way to returning 2,200 dead a day, as was the case a month ago.
“If we’re smart, we don’t need as many dead,” he said.
And now the United States is facing a super-spread event of the very big ones. On Independence Day, July 4, the entire United States is on the streets with large parades to celebrate the release of the English Empire and King George III in 1776. It can be bad in many of the hardest hit states.
Texas is one of the 21 states that fears for Saturday’s celebrations, even though they are in the open air. The state’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott, is also not among the most popular in a state that is moving politically and becoming Democratic. His lightning-fast opening of the state has attracted criticism, and Texas alone had 8,000 new infected on Wednesday.
The governor has now ordered the bars closed and the number of restaurant guests reduced to 50 percent. Everyone has to wear masks in public space and if they don’t, the fine is $ 250.
His deputy governor, Republican Dan Patrick, has excelled in the negative direction by saying he no longer bothered to listen to United States Chief of Staff Anthony Fauci. Patrick believes the state’s injunction to wear masks is a violation of Texans’ freedom and that the closure of bars is unnecessary.
The states are closing
However, a host of other states are following Texas and Arizona’s examples and are closing down after a totally unsuccessful opening. It happens in Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico and Florida just to name a few where the infection is out of control. In 21 states, the intensive care units are burdened to the limit.
Even in Las Vegas arcades in the state of Nevada, there are mask bans. However, the indoor casinos are not closed and desperately trying to stay open even though the contagion spreads in the enclosed areas with buffets in the indoor restaurants and ample serving of free alcohol as long as you sit at the slot machines.
Everywhere people are advised to stay away, especially July 4th. In Florida, beaches and parks close. And people are urged to stay home to avoid the spread of infection.
And the capital is partying further
One of Florida’s counties, Miami-Dade County, has had more than 1,200 infected per day, and the county mayor has banned restaurants from selling food and serving drinks.
“You are a patriot if you stay home,” as Mayor Carlos A. Giménez puts it.
In Washington DC, however, a discussion is underway between the Interior Department and the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser. The Department of the Interior has prepared fireworks, and there will, as usual, be performances and parades at the famous Mall, which is a five-mile-long, green park with memorials, clinging to the White House.
Interior Minister David L. Bernhardt has followed a clear call from the White House to conduct the parades and has promised more than 10,000 fireworks events. 300,000 face masks have been purchased for the show.
“Irresponsible,” was Bowser’s only comment. But since it is not her, but Donald Trump who decides, it is decided in advance that there will be major celebrations in the nation’s capital.
Kristian Mouritzen is Berlingske’s security policy correspondent