Coronavirus pandemic: Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence test negative
US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence have both tested negative for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). They couple got tested after a staff member of his office tested positive for the virus. After the officials tried to conduct the contact trace, Mike and his wife decided to take the coronavirus test as a precautionary measure.
Katie Miller, the press secretary for the vice president, took to Twitter to announce the results, writing, "Pleased to report that the COVID-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President @Mike_Pence and Second Lady @KarenPence."
The staff member from the Vice President's office was the first person to test positive for coronavirus in the White House. Congressmen, Democratic Rep Ben McAdams of Utah and Republican Rep Mario Diaz-Balart also tested positive for the virus earlier this March.
Earlier, the Mike had attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's Policy Conference (AIPAC) in Washington, DC, where two participants later tested positive. The AIPAC team put out a tweet alerting the attendees of possible exposure.
More than 195,000 Americans have been tested, Mike told reporters in a White House briefing. That total does not include county hospitals and health care labs. With the numbers rising rapidly, there have been 27,069 coronavirus cases with the total death toll of 340 cases and there have been only 176 cases of recovery.
Pence is the leader of the White House coronavirus task force. He and Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institution of Allergy and Infectious Disease, urged Americans not to get tested if they are not displaying any symptoms. This will help preserve resources.
With resources being scarce and the number of cases increasing, the VP said that the US Department of Health and Human Services "is completing a half-billion-dollar order of the (N95) masks". Pence and President Donald Trump also urged businesses to donate N95 masks and voluntarily manufacture ventilators.
"Look at the supplies of the N95 masks and pack up as much as you can spare and drop them off at your local hospital, and it would be a great service to our country," Pence said.
Asked by CNN why doctors and nurses don't have the medical equipment they need, Trump said that "many administrations preceded me and for the most part they did very little in terms of what you're talking about". He went on to say, "We are making much of this stuff now, and it's being delivered now."