White House in Disarray: Trump and Pence Can’t Get Their Stories Straight on Coronavirus
March 10, 2020
Trump and his administration have bungled the response to coronavirus from the beginning — putting Americans’ health and safety at risk and placing our economy on the verge of recession.
If that’s not bad enough, Trump and the man he put in charge of the response to the outbreak are making matters even worse by sending conflicting messages to the public.
Trump and Pence can’t agree on the availability of coronavirus tests.
TRUMP: “Anybody that wants a test can get a test.”
PENCE: “We don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward.”
The White House put forward conflicting opinions on whether to bring to shore the Grand Princess cruise ship and quarantine the passengers.
TRUMP: “I’d rather have the people stay. … I would rather because I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”
PENCE: “Those who need to be quarantined will be quarantined. Those who require additional medical attention will receive it.”
Trump and Pence can’t even keep their political opinions in sync.
PENCE: “I do want to commend, Gov. Inslee, your team’s effort and the seamless partnership that was forged from the very beginning between our administration and your administration here at the state level.”
TRUMP: “Oh, I told Mike not to be complimentary. … That governor is a snake. I said, ‘If you’re nice to him he will take advantage.’ Mike may be happy with him, but I’m not.”
There’s no agreement in the administration on whether coronavirus tests will be covered as an essential health benefit.
PENCE: “HHS has already denominated a test for the coronavirus to be an essential health benefit, which ensures that it will be covered by people’s private health insurance. It will be covered by Medicare and Medicaid.”
VERMA: “The Essential Health Benefits are defined in law. And it does not, in that particular section of the law, doesn’t actually identify laboratory tests.”