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

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.”

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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.