WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence is traveling to Orlando. The state so far has reported a total of nearly 47,000 cases of COVID-19, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Vice President Mike Pence hosts a press briefing at the White House alongside coronavirus task force members. (Source: CNN)
Pence is scheduled to meet with Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and other key leaders about the state’s ongoing reopening process.
The White House tells me Pence is also slated to deliver personal protective equipment – or PPE – to nursing homes. It’s part of an initiative to send critical supplies to 15,000 nursing homes across the nation. GOP Senator Rick Scott – who was Governor before DeSantis – says the right policies will get Florida back to work, safely.
“Our federal government has a lot of work still left to do to get the testing up," said Scott. "And they need to continue to work hard to get this vaccine done as quickly as possible.”
The White House also tells me the Vice President will join a roundtable Wednesday with hospitality and tourism leaders. That critical part of Florida’s economy is suffering tremendously. Congressman Neal Dunn says given the Sunshine State normally attracts at least 100 million tourists a year, it’s essential the state continues moving forward with reopening plans.
“There’s a false dichotomy out there that people are telling the story that you can either have your life or your livelihood – that’s just not true," said Dunn.
While Republicans like Dunn say Florida is doing a good job, state Democratic Party spokeswoman Frances Swanson says the Trump administration and DeSantis are falling short. Swanson argues too many Floridians are out of work, struggling to access unemployment benefits.
“The Trump administration has completely failed on the coronavirus crisis and we see the direct impacts of that in Florida," said Swanson.
Late Wednesday evening, the Vice President is scheduled to return to DC, wrapping up a busy day of meetings.
Gray DC reached out to the Governor’s office requesting an interview or a statement for this report, but has not yet received a response.
Also to note, the Vice President is traveling to Florida as new polling indicates a tight Presidential race in this key swing state. Real Clear Politics, which averages several of the latest polls, show Joe Biden is ahead by a few points.
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