New York Times: Under Pence, Politics Regularly Seeped Into the Coronavirus Task Force

New York Times: Under Pence, Politics Regularly Seeped Into the Coronavirus Task Force. “At the task force, grim science-based projections were sometimes de-emphasized for rosier predictions, and guidance from public health agencies — about schools and summer camps, for example — was sometimes massaged by the vice president’s staff.”

Washington Post: Pence, Harris teams at odds over plexiglass at debate

Washington Post: Pence, Harris teams at odds over plexiglass at debate. “Vice President Pence is requesting that no plexiglass dividers be placed on his side of the stage at Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate, after an announcement Monday by the Commission on Presidential Debates that dividers had been agreed to as a safety measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff, said the vice president’s team does not view plexiglass dividers as medically necessary, given other safety measures at the debate, including a 12-foot distance between Pence and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and daily testing of both candidates.”

AP: Pence ordered borders closed after CDC experts refused

AP: Pence ordered borders closed after CDC experts refused. “Vice President Mike Pence in March directed the nation’s top disease control agency to use its emergency powers to effectively seal the U.S. borders, overruling the agency’s scientists who said there was no evidence the action would slow the coronavirus, according to two former health officials. The action has so far caused nearly 150,000 children and adults to be expelled from the country.”

Politico: Debate commission accedes to Biden campaign’s ‘health and safety’ objections for VP debate

Politico: Debate commission accedes to Biden campaign’s ‘health and safety’ objections for VP debate. “The Commission on Presidential Debates has agreed to seat Kamala Harris and Mike Pence 12 feet apart at the vice presidential debate next week, after the Biden campaign raised health and safety objections to the original spacing between the two candidates because of Covid concerns. As of Friday evening, however, the commission would not accede to the Biden campaign‘s request that Harris and Pence stand during the debate. Instead, the two will be seated, which was the preference of the Trump campaign, a source familiar with the discussions told POLITICO.”

Politico: President Pelosi? Pence prepares to risk it all for Trump

Politico: President Pelosi? Pence prepares to risk it all for Trump. “After months of campaigning in smaller, lower-profile settings — from greeting voters at roadside diners to addressing blue-collar workers deep in the Rust Belt — Pence will step into the spotlight this week for a high-stakes debate against Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, a MAGA rally in Arizona and a brief stop in his home state of Indiana to cast an early ballot in the 2020 race.”

CNN: Pence’s former lead coronavirus task force aide slams Trump and endorses Biden in new video

CNN: Pence’s former lead coronavirus task force aide slams Trump and endorses Biden in new video. “Olivia Troye, who was a homeland security adviser to Pence and his lead staffer on the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, charged in the two-minute video that Trump failed to protect the American public because he only cared about himself and getting reelected. Troye’s criticism is particularly striking because of her role working on the coronavirus task force, which Pence leads.”

ProPublica: How Many People in the U.S. Are Hospitalized With COVID-19? Who Knows?

ProPublica: How Many People in the U.S. Are Hospitalized With COVID-19? Who Knows?. “The Trump administration told hospitals to stop reporting data to the CDC, and report it to HHS instead. Vice President Mike Pence said the information would continue to be released publicly. It hasn’t worked out as promised.”

Washington Post: A month later, Pence’s wildly optimistic view of the pandemic has proved almost entirely wrong

Washington Post: A month later, Pence’s wildly optimistic view of the pandemic has proved almost entirely wrong. “Even at the time it was written, the fundamental proposition offered by Vice President Pence in his Wall Street Journal piece on June 16 was dubious. No second wave of the coronavirus pandemic was emerging, he wrote — an obviously true claim only because the first wave had not ended…. Nearly a month later, Pence has been proved wrong in nearly every way on every bit of data he offered. The vice president, as the head of the government’s response to the pandemic, presented a case for his own success that was shown to be inaccurate often only days after his article was published.”

‘People aren’t stupid’: Pence’s virus spin tests credibility (AP)

AP: ‘People aren’t stupid’: Pence’s virus spin tests credibility. “Vice President Mike Pence has long played the straight man to Donald Trump, translating the president’s bombast into more measured, calming language. His job has become even more difficult. As coronavirus cases spike across large parts of the country despite months of lockdown, Pence has spent the past week trying to convince the American public that things are going very well, even though they’re not.”

Washington Post: Secret Service agents preparing for Pence Arizona trip contracted coronavirus

Washington Post: Secret Service agents preparing for Pence Arizona trip contracted coronavirus. “Vice President Pence’s trip to Arizona this week had to be postponed by a day after several Secret Service agents who helped organize the visit either tested positive for the coronavirus or were showing symptoms of being infected. Pence was scheduled to go to Phoenix on Tuesday but went on Wednesday instead so that healthy agents could be deployed for his visit, according to two senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private details of the trip.”

BuzzFeed News: The Coronavirus Spread In A Dallas Megachurch’s Choir And Orchestra. Then It Hosted Mike Pence.

BuzzFeed News: The Coronavirus Spread In A Dallas Megachurch’s Choir And Orchestra. Then It Hosted Mike Pence.. “At least five members of the choir and orchestra at the Dallas megachurch visited by Vice President Mike Pence this weekend tested positive for the coronavirus in June, according to Facebook posts and internal church emails reviewed by BuzzFeed News. An additional orchestra member had symptoms several days after being exposed and was awaiting a test result in mid-June, according to a call for prayers sent to the church’s musicians. None of those six people were at the First Baptist church in Dallas during Pence’s hour-and-a-half-hour visit on Sunday, but it’s unclear how many of the musicians who performed for Pence may have been exposed during previous practices and performances with those who were infected.”

Politico: Behind the Trump team’s U-turn, mounting fears about a mission-accomplished message

Politico: Behind the Trump team’s U-turn, mounting fears about a mission-accomplished message. “The vice president worried that a weeks-long public hiatus by his coronavirus task force had created an information void that contributed to a sharp rise in confirmed cases across the southern and western United States. With a televised briefing on Friday, organized at Pence’s direction on a day’s notice, the group revealed an undercurrent of fear behind the scenes of the federal government as the virus mounted its resurgence. Over the weekend, Pence stepped up his urgency. Other Trump officials and allies issued stark new warnings as case counts soared in some of the nation’s largest states. And the machinery that had lined up behind President Donald Trump’s mission-accomplished message suddenly started to fade away.”

Fact check: As pandemic situation worsens, Pence paints a deceptively rosy picture (CNN)

CNN: Fact check: As pandemic situation worsens, Pence paints a deceptively rosy picture. “At a Friday press briefing by the White House’s coronavirus task force, the first in nearly two months, task force leader Pence painted a rosy picture of a country steadily getting safer and back to normal. It was a picture at odds with reality. Leaving out critical information, Pence delivered a more polished version of the upbeat, all-is-well dishonesty that was a hallmark of previous briefings by President Donald Trump, who did not attend the Friday session.”

NBC News: Warren wants to know why Pence rejected U.S. goods in COVID fight

NBC News: Warren wants to know why Pence rejected U.S. goods in COVID fight. “Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Thursday that the Trump administration’s failure to prioritize American manufacturing during the initial stages of its COVID-19 response ‘likely contributed’ to the “ongoing spread of the disease.””

Yahoo News: Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Yahoo News: Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’. “Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus cases in the U.S. ‘have stabilized,’ a document produced that same day by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and circulated to the other government agencies warns that infections in the U.S. have increased more than 18 percent.”