Pence tells Limbaugh he believes Indiana work on HIV, MERS part of reason Trump tapped him on coronavirus
Vice President Pence told conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh he believes President Trump tapped him to lead the coronavirus task force because of his experience tackling disease outbreaks at the state level as governor of Indiana.
Pence touted his experience combating HIV, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) during his time in state government.
“I think it might be the main reason why President Trump asked me to do this,” Pence told Limbaugh. “I think by putting me over the administration’s response to the coronavirus, the president wanted to signal the priority that he’s placed on this.”
Trump announced Pence’s new role at a rare press conference in the White House briefing room Wednesday. Pence’s appointment was criticized by several Democrats, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who brought up the former governor’s troubling record combating HIV.
Pence told Limbaugh that the most effective way to combat the spread of disease is at the state level.
“But he talked to me about my practical experience as a governor, because a lot of people are aware the CDC is involved, HHS is involved, Homeland Security is involved, and we’ve managed the quarantines,” Pence said. “But honestly, what I learned as governor, it’s your state health department, it’s your local health care providers that are at the tip of the spear in the spread of infectious disease.”