Pence to travel to Washington as state grapples with coronavirus

Greg Nash

Vice President Pence will travel on Thursday to Washington state, which is grappling with an increasing number of coronavirus cases.

Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tweeted that the vice president will travel to Olympia. He will meet with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and other state and local officials in the capital city.

Pence told reporters during a meeting with medical lab executives on Wednesday that a 10th American has died from coronavirus.

Nine deaths have been reported in Washington, where state officials have confirmed 27 total cases of the coronavirus.

The vice president was previously scheduled to travel to Wisconsin and Minnesota on Thursday for campaign events. He is still expected to stop in Minnesota to meet with executives from 3M, which is producing masks and other medical equipment.

Pence was tasked last week with leading the administration’s coronavirus response. He met Wednesday with lab CEOs and airline executives as the administration assesses the fallout of the virus.

There are more than 100 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., with many of them based in Washington state.

Trump and other officials have stressed that the risk for most Americans of contracting the coronavirus remains low. The president has said that he was not considering restricting domestic travel because of the spread of the disease.

But lawmakers and public health officials have pressed the administration on the limited number of available tests, which has hindered the ability of officials to know how widespread the virus is within the United States. 

Lawmakers on Wednesday reached an agreement on a more than $7 billion funding deal to combat the virus. The amount is significantly higher than the $2.5 billion the White House initially requested. Both chambers of Congress are expected to vote on the bill this week.

Updated at 2:15 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus Jay Inslee Mike Pence

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