And Vice President Mike Pence told Americans that things were going well.
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.
“Despite what you hear, we are in the middle of a public health disaster,” said CNN chief medical correspondent. Sanjay Gupta said on air after the briefing.
Pence described the Sun Belt situation as a particular “outbreaks” occurring in “specific counties” and “specific communities” – declining to emphasize that, as expert. Peter Hotez noted on CNN after the briefing, the places experiencing a “massive resurgence” include some of the most populous counties in the country.
“This is a tragedy, and what’s more, it’s not presented as a tragedy – it’s presented as, ‘We’re doing a pretty good job and now there are a couple of hotspots.’ These are not ‘hotspots’ – these are the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, “said Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.
Perhaps Pence’s most egregious claim of briefing was his suggestion that the country was finished with the painful part of the pandemic.
“As we see new cases rising – and we are tracking them very carefully – there may be a trend among American people to think that we are back to that place that we were two months ago. of great losses and great hardship on the American people. The reality is we are in a much better place, “he said.
Though Pence was right that the current number of daily deaths was substantially lower than it was at its peak, the pandemic was still killing more than 500 Americans a day. The May unemployment rate was 13.3%.
In other words, the loss and the hardship continue.
CNN’s Maggie Fox contributed to this article.