mcloudy.png
Sunday June 20th, 2021 9:35PM

Pence to keep up travel despite contact with infected aide

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence plans to maintain an aggressive campaign schedule this week despite his exposure to a top aide who tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House said Saturday.

Pence himself tested negative, his office said. Under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, the vice president is considered a “close contact” of his chief of staff, Marc Short, but will not quarantine, said spokesman Devin O’Malley.

O’Malley said Pence decided to maintain his travel schedule “in consultation with the White House Medical Unit" and "in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel.” Those guidelines require that essential workers exposed to someone with the coronavirus closely monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and wear a mask whenever around other people.

O’Malley said Pence and his wife, Karen, both tested negative on Saturday “and remain in good health.”

President Donald Trump commented on Short early Sunday after his plane landed at Joint Base Andrews, outside Washington. “I did hear about it just now,” he said. “And I think he’s quarantining. Yeah. I did hear about it. He’s going to be fine. But he’s quarantining.”

Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease expert at George Mason University, called Pence’s decision to travel “grossly negligent” regardless of the stated justification that Pence is an essential worker.

“It’s just an insult to everybody who has been working in public health and public health response,” she said. “I also find it really harmful and disrespectful to the people going to the rally” and the people on Pence’s own staff who will accompany him.

“He needs to be staying home 14 days,” she added. “Campaign events are not essential.”

After a day of campaigning in Florida on Saturday, Pence was seen wearing a mask as he returned to Washington aboard Air Force Two shortly after the news of Short’s diagnosis was made public. He is scheduled to hold a rally on Sunday afternoon in Kinston, NC.

Pence, who has headed the White House coronavirus task force since late February, has repeatedly found himself in an uncomfortable position balancing political concerns with the administration's handling the pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 Americans. The vice president has advocated mask-wearing and social distancing, but often does not wear one himself and holds large political events where many people do not wear face-coverings.

By virtue of his position as vice president, Pence is considered an essential worker. The White House did not address how Pence's political activities amounted to essential work.

Short's diagnosis comes weeks after the coronavirus spread through the White House, infecting President Donald Trump, the first lady, and two dozen other aides, staffers and allies.

Short, Pence's top aide and one of his closest confidants, did not travel with the vice president on Saturday.

Pence's handling of his exposure to a confirmed positive case stands in contrast to how Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris responded when a close aide and a member of her campaign plane's charter crew tested positive for the virus earlier this month. She took several days off the campaign trail citing her desire to act out of an abundance of caution.

—-

This version corrects in the news summary that Pence tested negative.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Eyes turn to Texas as early voting surge surpasses 2016
More than 6 million votes have already been cast in Texas
12:16AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Surging coronavirus colors White House race in closing days
President Donald Trump assured supporters packed shoulder to shoulder at a trio of rallies Saturday that “we’re rounding the turn” on the coronavirus
12:14AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Pence to keep up travel despite contact with infected aide
The White House says Vice President Mike Pence plans to maintain an aggressive campaign schedule this week despite his exposure to a top aide who tested positive for the coronavirus
12:05AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
California girds for most dangerous fire weather of year
California, which has endured its worst wildfire season in history, is bracing for the most dangerous winds of the year, a forecast that prompted the largest utility to announce plans to cut power Sunday to nearly 1 million people to guard against its equipment sparking new blazes
10:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: A week before election, Biden to visit Georgia
Joe Biden will travel to Georgia next week, making a late push in a state that hasn’t voted Democratic for president since 1992
10:04PM ( 2 hours ago )
Lee Kun-Hee, force behind Samsung’s rise, dies at 78
Lee Kun-Hee, the ailing Samsung Electronics chairman who transformed the small television maker into a global giant of consumer electronics, has died
9:36PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Jon Bon Jovi does what he can at Biden rally
Rock star Jon Bon Jovi gave a small concert at a drive-in rally for Joe Biden in eastern Pennsylvania on Saturday, performing three songs and praising Biden’s response to the coronavirus
5:27PM ( 6 hours ago )
Beyond the Needle: Probability experts assess 2020 race
Probability estimates for the 2020 U.S. presidential election are still being made, but one fixture of the 2016 cycle won’t make a return
4:41PM ( 7 hours ago )
Crews vacuum 'murder hornets' out of Washington nest
Heavily protected crews in Washington state have worked to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the United States
4:24PM ( 7 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Eyes turn to Texas as early voting surge surpasses 2016
More than 6 million votes have already been cast in Texas
12:16AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Surging coronavirus colors White House race in closing days
President Donald Trump assured supporters packed shoulder to shoulder at a trio of rallies Saturday that “we’re rounding the turn” on the coronavirus
12:14AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Chileans vote on whether to rewrite dictatorship-era charter
Chileans are deciding whether to draft a new constitution to replace guiding principles imposed four decades ago under a military dictatorship
12:00AM ( 23 minutes ago )
UN: Nuclear weapons ban treaty to enter into force
The United Nations has confirmed that 50 countries have ratified a U.N. treaty to ban nuclear weapons, triggering its entry into force in 90 days
11:46PM ( 37 minutes ago )
The Latest: Kiermaier homers in 7th as Game 4 drama ramps up
A sleepy Fall Classic that hadn’t featured a single lead change halfway through Game 4 is suddenly taking dramatic twists and turns in rapid succession
11:42PM ( 42 minutes ago )