Pence asserted that Trump took "unprecedented steps" against the disease once the administration was alerted of its presence in the United States. The vice president stated at the conference that he has been appointed as the head of a task force on the virus overseeing various groups and will ensure they have the necessary resources for the government response.
Pence being assigned as the leader of the US’ coronavirus task force came as a huge surprise to many, as he does not have the greatest track record on health-related matters. Pence was heavily scrutinized for his handling of Indiana’s HIV outbreak in 2015, when he was the state’s governor. In addition, Pence in 2001 downplayed the risk of smoking, saying that “smoking doesn’t kill,” and said in 2002 that condoms “are a very, very poor protection against sexually transmitted diseases.”
Mike Pence is for conversion therapy. Mike Pence said smoking didn’t cause cancer. Mike Pence doesn’t believe climate science. Mike Pence questioned whether or not condoms worked. So, 😬— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) February 26, 2020
In 2014 Trump heavily criticized then-US President Barack Obama for his selection of an Ebola czar with "zero experience," a comment which promptly resurfaced after Trump appointed Pence to lead the United States' response to COVID-19.
Obama just appointed an Ebola Czar with zero experience in the medical area and zero experience in infectious disease control. A TOTAL JOKE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2014
Trump's tweet, posted on October 17, 2014, stated: "Obama just appointed an Ebola Czar with zero experience in the medical area and zero experience in infectious disease control. A TOTAL JOKE!".
Let’s see what sort of plan czar Pence’s task force comes up with!