Pence to Limbaugh: Coronavirus crisis could largely be ‘behind us’ by early June
Vice President Pence said during an interview Thursday with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh that if current trend lines hold, the coronavirus crisis could be largely “behind us” by early June.
Pence’s remarks come as some states look to begin reopening their economies in the coming days, with Oklahoma, Colorado, Georgia, Tennessee, Montana, South Carolina and Texas lifting some restrictions.
Other states, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wyoming, did not have stay-at-home orders.
“I truly do believe if current trend lines hold, that by early June, we could largely have this coronavirus epidemic behind us, and begin to see our nation open back up and go back to work,” Pence told Limbaugh.
Pence, who also leads the president’s coronavirus task force, shared that he “would not be surprised” if many in the country have already been exposed to the virus, which he says would allow “a degree of immunity” from the virus.
“There is a high likelihood that if you’ve had this coronavirus in the past, that you will enjoy some immunity from it in the future,” he said. “It’s among the reasons why our nation, should the coronavirus reemerge at any time in the future, our nation will be in a much better place.”
“If some of those early studies hold out, there will be an awful lot of Americans in the fall and in the winter of next year that actually enjoy a degree of immunity from the coronavirus. That will be a bulwark against this,” Pence added.
Pence’s remarks echoed those he made in an interview for a Wall Street Journal podcast on Wednesday, when he touted new therapeutic treatments being developed and predicted that “Americans are going to be able to enjoy a good summer.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday shared a new antibody test study showing that in the epicenter of the virus, New York City, 21 percent of residents had antibodies for the coronavirus, compared with 3.6 percent in upstate New York, 16.7 percent in Long Island and 11.7 percent in the Westchester and Rockland regions.
“They were infected three weeks ago, four weeks ago, five weeks ago, six weeks ago. But they had the virus, they developed the antibodies and they are now recovered,” Cuomo said during his daily news briefing.
The data shows the COVID-19 death rate in New York is about 0.5 percent.
The overall U.S. death toll eclipsed 47,000 on Thursday, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed Montana among states without a stay-at-home order.