Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday said he confident there will be enough testing available for the first phase of the reopening of any coronavirus locked-down state prepared for taking that step.
In an contentious interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Pence said there are “more than 150,000 tests” being done daily currently — and that it could be doubled “once we activate all the laboratories around the country.”
“We believe if working with the governors, as we'll continue to partner with them, that we can activate labs around the country and that states today, if the governor so chooses, have sufficient testing to be able to move into the testing contemplated in phase one,” he said.
In a heated exchange, Pence ignored repeated interruptions and pushed back on the characterization of President Donald Trump’s tweets to “liberate” states that proved important for his 2016 election — including Wisconsin, Michigan and Virginia — were undermining his own reopening guidance.
“The president laid out new guidelines for every state in the country to say that if you see cases decline for 14 days, if you're in a position to do the kind of testing and you have the … hospital capacity that we want to encourage every state to examine the way to go to phase one," he said in between questions from host Chuck Todd.
“Why is the president trying to undermine the guidance [he gave] on Thursday and undermined it on Friday," Todd pressed.
“I don't accept your premise and I don't think most Americans do either,” Pence replied.
“The president's made it clear, he wants to reopen America. And we laid out guidelines for every state in the country to safely and responsibly reopen their economy at the time and manner of their choosing. We laid out the criteria for when our best scientists believe that would be appropriate… When you hear the president, when you see people across the country talking about reopening, every American and this president want to do that in a safe and responsible way. “
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