Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSecurity policy expert: Defense industry donations let lawmakers 'ignore public opinion' Do progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Don't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery MORE (D-N.Y.) criticized Vice President Pence hours after President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE said he would be putting him in charge of the administration's response to the spread of coronavirus.
“Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence says he hopes conservative majority on Supreme Court will restrict abortion access Federal judge to hear case of Proud Boy alleged Jan. 6 rioter seeking release from jail The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems attempt to tie government funding, Ida relief to debt limit 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.”
“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.
As governor, Pence’s science denial contributed to one of the worst HIV outbreaks in Indiana’s history.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 27, 2020
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.
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.
The only qualification @VP Mike Pence has is as supreme Donald Trump kiss-ass. It is frightening that this science denying knuckle-dragger is now in charge of our nation’s response to the #coronavirus. https://t.co/KWroz711jB— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) February 27, 2020
Mike Pence is not an upgrade.— Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyThis week: Democrats hit make-or-break moment for Biden Democrats urge Biden to go all in with agenda in limbo Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 27, 2020
Putting a guy in charge of a deadly major pandemic who doesn’t believe in science and thinks smoking doesn’t cause cancer is...well...NOT A GREAT IDEA.
Radical idea: put someone qualified in charge. Take this seriously.
Mike Pence is for conversion therapy. Mike Pence said smoking didn’t cause cancer. Mike Pence doesn’t believe climate science. Mike Pence questioned whether or not condoms worked. So,— Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzManchin raises red flag on carbon tax Panic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda Hotel workers need a lifeline; It's time to pass The Save Hotel Jobs Act MORE (@brianschatz) February 26, 2020
Unfortunately, I have about as much confidence in Mike Pence leading us out of this crisis as Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayCook Political Report shifts Virginia governor's race to 'toss-up' Overnight Defense & National Security — Iron Dome funding clears House Sean Spicer, Russ Vought sue Biden over Naval Board removal MORE earned when she was tasked with leading us out of the opioid crisis.#CoronavirusOutbreak#coronavirususa https://t.co/n24xELMA5y— Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettLIVE COVERAGE: Tax hikes take center stage in Ways and Means markup American workers need us to get this pandemic under control around the world Biden attempts to turn page on Afghanistan with domestic refocus MORE (@RepLloydDoggett) February 27, 2020
This is our coronavirus czar. https://t.co/CfrjmogrEn— Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchOcasio-Cortez explains 'present' vote on Iron Dome Overnight Defense & National Security — Iron Dome funding clears House House passes standalone bill to provide B for Israel's Iron Dome MORE (@RepTedDeutch) February 27, 2020
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.