Minggu, 25 Oktober 2020

Mike Pence continues campaigning ahead of US election as aides test positive to coronavirus - ABC News

US Vice-President Mike Pence is campaigning across the country, despite several of his aides testing positive to COVID-19.

Mr Pence's chief of staff Marc Short, as well as several other aides, tested positive to coronavirus over the weekend, with just over a week to go until the presidential election.

A spokesperson for Mr Pence said the Vice-President would continue to campaign, despite being considered a close contact of a known case.

Mr Pence tested negative for the virus on Saturday and Sunday.

On Sunday, National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien told reporters Mr Pence was "following all the rules" from federal health officials.

He called Mr Pence "an essential worker" and said he needed to be on the campaign trail.

"Essential workers going out and campaigning and voting are about as essential as things we can do as Americans," he said.

A bald man in a dark suit raises his right hand and pinches his extended fingers together as he speak to repoprters
Mr Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive for COVID-19 last weekend.(AP: Alex Brandon/File)

However, health policy specialists have questioned the claim that federal rules on essential workers allow the Vice-President to campaign and not quarantine.

The guidelines on essential workers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention apply to people like police, first responders and key transportation and food workers.

Joshua Sharfstein, vice-dean for public health practice at Johns Hopkins University, said he did not believe Mr Pence should be making public appearances.

"I don't see campaigning on the list," Dr Sharfstein said.

"Anything that does not have to be done in person and anything not related to his job as Vice-President would not be considered essential.

"He should quarantine in order to protect other people."

Mr Pence is expected to hold a rally in Minnesota on Monday, followed by three events in North Carolina and South Carolina on Tuesday.

This comes after the White House chief of staff said during an interview that the COVID-19 pandemic was not going to be brought under control.

Speaking on CNN's State of the Union, Mark Meadows said the Federal Government was doing what it could to secure a vaccine.

"We're not going to control the pandemic," Mr Meadows said.

"We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas."

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden seized on those comments, saying the White House had "given up".

"This wasn't a slip by Meadows," Mr Biden said.

"It was a candid acknowledgement of what President [Donald] Trump's strategy has clearly been from the beginning of this crisis — to wave the white flag of defeat and hope that by ignoring it, the virus would simply go away.

"It hasn't, and it won't."

Mr Trump told supporters in New Hampshire on Sunday that the pandemic is "going to be over".

"We are coming around, we're rounding the turn, we have the vaccines, we have everything. Even without the vaccines, we're rounding the turn," Mr Trump said.


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2020-10-25 22:07:00Z

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