Mike Pence says coronavirus pandemic will be ‘largely’ behind us by Memorial Day

Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic could be ‘largely’ behind Americans as early as Memorial Day Weekend. 

Pence’s remarks come as Texas partially re-opened its economy this week despite the number of COVID-19 infections still rising. 

‘Am I going to be on my boat and fishing in early June, Mr. Vice President?’ asked Geraldo Rivera of Fox News on his radio show.  

‘If you look at the trends today, I think by Memorial Day Weekend we will largely have this coronavirus epidemic behind us,’ Pence said. 

‘State and local officials will begin to reopen activities, you’re going to see states ahead here begin to do that.’ 

Vice President Mike Pence (pictured) said in an interview that the coronavirus pandemic could be ‘largely’ behind Americans by Memorial Day Weekend 

Pence, who is chair of the White House coronavirus task force, appeared to be doubling down on similar comments he made this week about the COVID-19 outbreak.

During an interview on The Wall Street Journal podcast, Pence claimed that the worst of the outbreak could be behind the United States in June. 

‘We truly do believe as we move forward, with responsibly beginning to reopen the economy in state after state around the country, that by early June, we could be at a place where this coronavirus epidemic is largely in the past,’ said Pence.

‘Americans are going to be able to enjoy a good summer,’ he added.

Pence (pictured): ‘If you look at the trends today, I think by Memorial Day Weekend we will largely have this coronavirus epidemic behind us’

Pictured: New York City Fire Department and Emergency Medical Technicians wearing personal protective equipment lift a man into an ambulance during an ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus disease 

He made similar comments on Thursday in an interview with conservative radio show host, Rush Limbaugh.  

He told Limbaugh that a large number of Americans might have already been exposed to COVID-19 and could experience a ‘degree of immunity.’

‘There is a high likelihood that if you’ve had this coronavirus in the past, that you will enjoy some immunity from it in the future,’ he said. 

‘It’s among the reasons why our nation, should the coronavirus reemerge at any time in the future, our nation will be in a much better place. 

‘If some of those early studies hold out, there will be an awful lot of Americans in the fall and in the winter of next year that actually enjoy a degree of immunity from the coronavirus. That will be a bulwark against this.’

Pictured: An emergency room staff member tends to a patient suffering from COVID-19 in New York City on Monday 

In the United States, officials have recorded 871,818 confirmed cases and 49,099 deaths. 

States like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts were especially hard-hit, with an accumulated 402,000 infections between the three places. 

President Donald Trump extended the coronavirus shutdown – which has seen the closure of all non-essential businesses and stay-at-home orders – through April 30. 

Some states announced that they would be re-opening parts of their economy as early as this week. 

In response to re-opening the economy, Trump unveiled a three-phase guideline.   

Ultimately, the Trump administration said governors will decide when it’s safe tor re-open state economies. 

A message calling for the reopening of Oklahoma’s economy covers a car window at a rally in downtown Tulsa, Okla., on Monday. The governor’s plan was met with immediate resistance from the Oklahoma State Medical Association

Texas announced that it would be the first state to re-open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Colorado and Tennessee following suit. 

Texas re-opened state parks on April 20 and retailers have been given the OK to re-open on April 24.  

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia revealed that state would re-open gyms, barbershops and nail salons next week.

Trump said he ‘strongly disagreed’ with Kemp’s move to re-open Georgia so soon and that it was in ‘violation of the Phase I guidelines.’

The guidelines suggest that states should record two weeks of declining cases before reopening. 

None of the states that are reopening have yet to record such a decline. 

Meanwhile, only 17 states have contained the spread of COVID-19, according to new infection rate data. 

Pennsylvania, Virginia and Vermont have had the most success in reducing the spread, the Rt.Live charts show.

The data indicates that all seven states that currently have no stay-at-home orders – Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming – are among the states with the higher rates of secondary infections. 

Connecticut, Delaware and Nebraska are currently the three states with the fastest spreading coronavirus cases while Pennsylvania, Virginia and Vermont have the least, according to a new interactive tool that tracks the rate of secondary infections of COVID-19

The charts, launched this week by Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, use effective reproduction (Rt) metrics in each state, as well as Washington D.C., to show how the spread of coronavirus across the US has shifted since early March.

According to the data, New York – the epicenter of the US outbreak – has a 0.9 effective reproduction rate, which is one of the lowest across the country.

New York state, which has more than 257,000 confirmed cases, has had aggressive lockdown measures in place since mid-March that aren’t due to expire until at least May 15.

Meanwhile Georgia, whose governor is planning to lift lockdown measures this week despite objections from health officials, has a 1.03 effective reproduction rate. 

READ TRUMP’S THREE PHASE REOPENING GUIDELINES IN FULL

PROPOSED STATE OR REGIONAL ‘GATING’ CRITERIA 

These are the tests which have to be passed in a state or collection of states to allow them to move from lockdown to phase one

SYMPTOMS

Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period 

AND 

Downward trajectory of covid-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period

CASES 

Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period 

OR

Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests) 

HOSPITALS

Treat all patients without crisis care 

Robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing 

CORE STATE PREPAREDNESS RESPONSIBILITIES

These are what a state of collection of states has to have in place to move from lockdown to phase one

TESTING AND CONTACT TRACING

Ability to quickly set up safe and efficient screening and testing sites for symptomatic individuals and trace contacts of COVID+ results Ability to test Syndromic/ILI-indicated persons for COVID and trace contacts of COVID+ resultsEnsure sentinel surveillance sites are screening for asymptomatic cases and contacts for COVID+ results are traced (sites operate at locations that serve older individuals, lower-income Americans, racial minorities, and Native Americans)

HEALTH CARE SYSTEM CAPACITY

Ability to quickly and independently supply sufficient Personal Protective Equipment and critical medical equipment to handle dramatic surge in need Ability to surge ICU capacity

PLANS

Protect the health and safety of workers in critical industriesProtect the health and safety of those living and working in high-risk facilities (e.g., senior care facilities)Protect employees and users of mass transitAdvise citizens regarding protocols for social distancing and face coveringsMonitor conditions and immediately take steps to limit and mitigate any rebounds or outbreaks by restarting a phase or returning to an earlier phase, depending on severity 

PHASE ONE 

FOR STATES AND REGIONS THAT SATISFY THE GATING CRITERIA

INDIVIDUALS

ALL VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents. All individuals, WHEN IN PUBLIC (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 10 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed. Avoid SOCIALIZING in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing (e.g., receptions, trade shows) MINIMIZE NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel

EMPLOYERS 

Continue to ENCOURAGE TELEWORK, whenever possible and feasible with business operations.

If possible, RETURN TO WORK IN PHASES. 

Close COMMON AREAS where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce strict social distancing protocols. 

Minimize NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel. 

Strongly consider SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS for personnel who are members of a VULNERABLE POPULATION. 

SPECIFIC TYPES OF EMPLOYERS

SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZED YOUTH ACTIVITIES (e.g., daycare, camp) that are currently closed should remain closed. 

VISITS TO SENIOR LIVING FACILITIES AND HOSPITALS should be prohibited. Those who do interact with residents and patients must adhere to strict protocols regarding hygiene. 

LARGE VENUES (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under strict physical distancing protocols. 

ELECTIVE SURGERIES can resume, as clinically appropriate, on an outpatient basis at facilities that adhere to CMS guidelines. 

GYMS can open if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols. 

BARS should remain closed 

PHASE TWO 

FOR STATES AND REGIONS WITH NO EVIDENCE OF A REBOUND AND THAT SATISFY THE GATING CRITERIA A SECOND TIME 

INDIVIDUALS 

ALL VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents. All individuals, WHEN IN PUBLIC (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 50 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed. NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL can resume. 

EMPLOYERS

Continue to ENCOURAGE TELEWORK, whenever possible and feasible with business operations. 

Close COMMON AREAS where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce moderate social distancing protocols. 

NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL can resume. 

Strongly consider SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS for personnel who are members of a VULNERABLE POPULATION. 

SPECIFIC TYPES OF EMPLOYERS

SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZED YOUTH ACTIVITIES (e.g., daycare, camp) can reopen. VISITS TO SENIOR CARE FACILITIES AND HOSPITALS should be prohibited. Those who do interact with residents and patients must adhere to strict protocols regarding hygiene.LARGE VENUES (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under moderate physical distancing protocols. ELECTIVE SURGERIES can resume, as clinically appropriate, on an outpatient and in-patient basis at facilities that adhere to CMS guidelines. GYMS can remain open if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols. BARS may operate with diminished standing-room occupancy, where applicable and appropriate. 

PHASE THREE

FOR STATES AND REGIONS WITH NO EVIDENCE OF A REBOUND AND THAT SATISFY THE GATING CRITERIA A THIRD TIME

INDIVIDUALS

VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed. LOW-RISK POPULATIONS should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.

EMPLOYERS 

 Resume UNRESTRICTED STAFFING of worksites

SPECIFIC TYPES OF EMPLOYERS

VISITS TO SENIOR CARE FACILITIES AND HOSPITALS can resume. Those who interact with residents and patients must be diligent regarding hygiene. 

LARGE VENUES (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under limited physical distancing protocols. 

GYMS can remain open if they adhere to standard sanitation protocols. 

BARS may operate with increased standing room occupancy, where applicable.

WHO IS ‘VULNERABLE’?

1. Elderly individuals. 2. Individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.       

 

 


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