With diagnoses of the coronavirus increasing worldwide, concerns are growing in the United States that President Donald Trump's administration is unprepared for a domestic outbreak that experts have deemed inevitable.
In a press conference on Wednesday evening, the President announced that Vice President Mike Pence would be spearheading the administration's efforts to contain outbreaks within the United States.
The appointment wasn't that assuring, especially to Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
The frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for President tweeted in opposition of Pence's appointment:
Trump's plan for the coronavirus so far: -Cut winter heating assistance for the poor -Have VP Pence, who wanted to… https://t.co/pNUJzEBmRr— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1582763521.0
Sanders reminded his followers that during a 2015 outbreak of HIV in Indiana, then-Governor Mike Pence's solution was to pray it away.
Pence cut funding for HIV research in Indiana and delayed needle exchange programs, which are known to curb the spread of the disease. He instead advocated for organizations that promoted abstinence.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) issued a similar rebuke of Pence's appointment.
As governor, Pence’s science denial contributed to one of the worst HIV outbreaks in Indiana’s history. He is not… https://t.co/RqCD9rJC5u— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1582767207.0
They were far from the only ones concerned.
So Mike Pence doesn't believe in evolution, viruses evolve and mutate, he tried praying against HIV in his home sta… https://t.co/9QYFUgoZcV— David Pakman (@David Pakman) 1582824133.0
Mike Pence refused to assist his state with combating an HIV epidemic while closing the only clinic that could have… https://t.co/MFLhqw2giO— Amee Vanderpool (@Amee Vanderpool) 1582817306.0
With Mike at the steering wheel, we can be sure the Coronavirus outbreak will hit America hard. https://t.co/Uxa48d03HT— Paul van der Meer (@Paul van der Meer) 1582810442.0
Some began drawing parallels.
Putting Mike Pence in charge of preventing the spread of a virus is like putting gasoline in charge of preventing t… https://t.co/e8oXIqX27L— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid) 1582806211.0
Putting Mike Pence in charge of the coronavirus is like having Casey Anthony watch your kids.— Tony Posnanski (@Tony Posnanski) 1582807400.0
Appointing Mike Pence to stop the outbreak of a deadly virus is like hiring Betsy DeVos to be in charge of education.— Denizcan James (@Denizcan James) 1582763407.0
Putting Mike Pence in charge of combating the corona virus is like putting Trump in charge of a teenage beauty page… https://t.co/Y31hffHzuQ— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈) 1582763096.0
Putting Mike Pence in charge of the coronavirus response is like staring at a solar eclipse, thinking windmills cau… https://t.co/Srm7eINZdt— Andrea Junker (@Andrea Junker) 1582808923.0
In addition to Pence's appointment, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wouldn't promise that a vaccine for the virus, when found, would be affordable.
This does not look good.