WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he is designating Vice President Mike Pence to lead the American response to the coronavirus outbreak. It is expected that Pence will not only coordinate the government’s pandemic containment efforts but actually be sent to high risk infection zones to conduct testing and data collection personally.
Putting such a senior official on the front lines of a dangerous health crisis is an unprecedented move, considering the Vice President is next in line to occupy the Oval Office in the event that anything happens to the President. Still, Trump defended the decision, highlighting the administration’s efforts to combat the virus while hinting at his discontent with Pence as a running mate.
“Because of me, the risk to the American people remains very low, but we must remain on the offensive,” Trump said. “And I don’t know a single person who I’d want to go face-to-face with a deadly disease other than Mike Pence. Either he’ll fix everything despite his total lack of basic public health knowledge, or he’ll end up in quarantine or even something worse. Either way, it’s a win for me.”
The President has been actively vetting several back-up vice presidential candidates this week, including Devin Nunes, Ted Cruz, and Jim Jordan, all loyalists to Trump who also aren’t known for taking naps during press conferences or insisting on weirdly calling their wives “Mother”.