Vice President Mike Pence postponed the events of his “Faith in America” tour in Florida and Arizona amid the rapidly increasing number of coronavirus cases in both states.
“Vice President Pence will no longer participate in campaign events in Arizona and Florida this week,” a spokesman close to Pence told Fox News on Saturday. “This is related to the increased number of coronaviruses in those states.”
Pence will continue to travel to Florida, Arizona and Texas next week, Fox News confirmed, to meet with governors and assess the situation on the ground in those states that experience spikes in coronavirus cases.
Pence’s decision comes just hours after Florida reported a new record in daily coronavirus cases, marking him for the third time this week that a new record was broken.
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The Florida Department of Health reported more than 9,500 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, beating Friday’s record in nearly 9,000 new cases.
The White House Task Force gave its first briefing in two months on Friday, where Pence was asked if he saw a correlation with states that saw record peaks and states that chose to reopen their economies early, including Florida, Arizona and Texas.
“I think there will be a temptation for people to see these Sun Belt states that have been reopening and putting people to work again and suggested that the reopening has to do with what we are seeing in the last week or so” Pence said.
“But frankly, in the case of each of these states, they reopened, in some cases, almost two months ago.”
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the new cases reported in the past two weeks have an average age of 33, 34 and 35 years.
Health officials believe that younger demographic groups have responded irresponsibly to the reopening of the state by visiting bars, without wearing face covers and ignoring the social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). .
“Community broadcasting is being driven by the 18- to 35-year-old group,” DeSantis said during a press conference on Friday.
In response to this revelation, the state’s alcohol regulatory agency suspended in-person alcohol consumption in bars across the state, and said in a tweet: “Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending local consumption. of alcohol in bars across the state. “
Pence began his campaign tour this week in Wisconsin, where he said, “About 40 states like Wisconsin are reopening.”
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Masks, temperature controls, and hand sanitizer were distributed as attendees entered the event, but few masks were reportedly used.
“First we lost some of our personal freedom for the health of our families and our neighbors, and we know we will continue to use common sense,” Pence said before shaking hands with the attendees without wearing a mask.
David Spunt and Kellianne Jones of Fox News contributed to this report.