Ocasio-Cortez knocks Pence: 'Utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Memo: Dems face balancing act on SCOTUS fight Ocasio-Cortez hits back at Marjorie Taylor Greene over 'dumb blonde' joke on Twitter Ocasio-Cortez to voters: Tell McConnell 'he is playing with fire' with Ginsburg's seat MORE (D-N.Y.) criticized Vice President Pence hours after President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE said he would be putting him in charge of the administration's response to the spread of coronavirus.

Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceGardner signals support for taking up Supreme Court nominee this year Biden leads Trump by 12 points among Catholic voters: poll GOP brushes back charges of hypocrisy in Supreme Court fight MORE literally does not believe in science,” she tweeted on Wednesday night. “It is utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response as the world sits on the cusp of a pandemic. This decision could cost people their lives. Pence’s past decisions already have." 

She also took aim at Pence’s handling of an HIV outbreak in Indiana during his time as governor of the state in another tweet, saying: “As governor, Pence’s science denial contributed to one of the worst HIV outbreaks in Indiana’s history.”

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“He is not a medical doctor. He is not a health expert. He is not qualified nor positioned in any way to protect our public health,” she continued.

According to The Washington Post, one of the most severe HIV outbreaks to ever occur in Indiana happened in 2015, during Pence's time as a governor. At the time, he was reportedly met with criticism for his handling of the spread.

A number of Democratic lawmakers made similar comments knocking Trump’s decision to name Pence the head of the government’s coronavirus response on Twitter.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have been putting pressure on the Trump administration to step up its efforts to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus — which has been reported in more than 80,000 cases worldwide — from happening in the U.S.

However, Trump has downplayed concerns about the coronavirus, saying that while his administration is "ready to adapt if we have to" as more cases are reported in the country, he doesn't believe an outbreak is "inevitable," as other officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said.