As Mike Pence visited southwestern Pennsylvania for a series of photo-ops, Pennsylvania Democrats exposed the Trump Administration’s ongoing failures to address the coronavirus crisis that has cost the lives of over 7,100 Pennsylvanians. Check out some of the coverage of their efforts below.
Before Pence arrived, Democrats blasted Trump’s broken promises and ongoing coronavirus failures:
Associated Press: “In a statement, the state Democratic Party accused Pence of returning to Pennsylvania ‘because the Trump administration is desperate to distract from its failed COVID-19 response.’”
Philadelphia Tribune: “Pennsylvania Democrats criticized the vice president’s stops in the state ahead of his visit. ‘Mike Pence is coming back to Pennsylvania to spin Trump’s failed record, but Pennsylvanians know the truth: Donald Trump has broken his promises to our communities and left us behind,’ said Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Andres Anzola in a statement.
‘Trump’s chaotic, erratic COVID-19 response has cost over 6,700 Pennsylvanians their lives and millions more their jobs. And it never had to be this bad.’”
Politics PA: “The Pennsylvania Democratic Party said that the visit from Pence is an attempt to distract from [Trump’s] failed COVID-19 response.
‘Mike Pence is coming back to Pennsylvania because the Trump administration is desperate to distract from its failed COVID-19 response,’ said Pennsylvania Democratic Party Spokesperson Andres Anzola. ‘Instead of hosting political events and spreading misinformation about Vice President Biden’s record, Trump’s lackeys should get to work to help struggling Pennsylvanians who are sick or jobless because of his ineffective leadership.’”
CBS 3 Philadelphia: “In a statement, the state Democratic Party accused Pence of returning to Pennsylvania ‘because the Trump administration is desperate to distract from its failed COVID-19 response’ and said Trump’s loyalists should get to work helping the sick and jobless.”
Key Democratic and labor leaders then hosted a virtual press conference to call out the Trump administration’s failure to deliver on a national testing strategy, unwillingness to listen to medical experts, and its politically motivated rush to reopen schools without providing guidance on how to do so safely:
WJAC-TV (watch the full clip here): “Ahead of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Somerset tomorrow, Pennsylvania Democrats held a virtual press conference today to discuss the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus.”
WHP-TV (watch the full clip here): “Ahead of the Vice President’s visit to the commonwealth, Pennsylvania Democrats are calling out the President saying, ‘he mishandled the pandemic from the start.’”
WWCP-TV (watch the full clip here): “Ahead of [Pence’s] arrival, Pennsylvania Democrats held a virtual press conference to discuss the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus.”
WESA-FM (listen to the full clip here): “Pennsylvania Democrats said they wish the Vice President would focus on a national testing strategy and a strategic response to the virus — not another photo-op.”
TribLive: “In a press call Wednesday, local and state Democratic leaders criticized the Cops for Trump rally and the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
‘As the chair of the coronavirus task force, Vice President Pence should be thinking about how to help families in places like Westmoreland County, not attending a campaign event,’ said Tara Yokopenic, Westmoreland County Democratic Committee chairwoman.
‘We do not need a two-hour visit and a photo-op from Vice President Pence,” she said. “We need a plan to get this country and this county back on track. We need them to do their jobs.’”
CBS 21 Harrisburg: “Pence is scheduled to appear at a police station in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, around noon. Pennsylvania Democrats are using the visit as a chance to critique the Trump administration’s pandemic response, which they say has been mishandled from the start.
‘Trump has put big corporations and his millionaire and billionaire friends first, giving large bailouts to the corporations he’s tied to, rather than the small businesses that are struggling to survive,’ Nancy Patton Mills, chairperson for the PA Democrats, said. The PA Democrats also called out the president’s ongoing attacks on the Affordable Care Act, and unfulfilled promises to Pennsylvania workers.
Business Insider: “Trump’s campaign has so far refused to pay a combined $1.82 million in police and public safety bills sent to it by 14 local governments, including Spokane, Washington and Wildwood, New Jersey, according to the Center for Public Integrity and Insider. Trump’s excuse is that his campaign isn’t legally required to pay.
‘I fully expect them to stiff Greensburg and Westmoreland County taxpayers with the bill for this rally,’ Pennsylvania state Rep. Austin Davis, an area Democrat, said of the Trump campaign.
WESA Pittsburgh: “‘We don’t need a two-hour visit from Mike Pence for a photo opp,’ said chair of the Westmoreland County Democratic Committee Tara Yokopenic. ‘As the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force, the vice president ought to be working on how to deliver on a national testing strategy … We need real support.’
Yokopenic said that Westmoreland residents and small businesses lack the confidence to reopen safely as health guidelines change to try to control the spread of the virus.
‘We want life to get back to normal, but we can’t ignore the crisis for political purposes,’ she said. ‘Anyone who says this virus is under control is simply not paying attention.’”
Following Pence’s trip, Chairwoman Mills issued a response driving home the devastating impact of the administration’s failures:
Nancy Patton Mills: “Mike Pence’s visit was nothing more than an attempt to distract from the fact that the White House still doesn’t have the coronavirus under control. As we head into the fifth month of this crisis, there’s still no national testing strategy, frontline workers continue to face PPE shortages, and the administration keeps pushing schools to reopen in the coming weeks without providing guidance on how to do so safely.”