As Coronavirus Flares Domestically, Pence Attends Fundraiser With Wealthy Donors
President Donald Trump shocked the country — and reportedly even members of his own cabinet — when he announced on Wednesday that Vice President Mike Pence would coordinate the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
And recent reports indicate that Pence has hit the ground running — to Florida. For a political fundraiser.
According to The Tampa Bay Times, the vice president will grace the presence of wealthy Republican donors at an event where it costs “$2,500 to get in the door and $5,000 to take a picture with the vice president.” Dinner with Pence can also be had, for those willing to kick in another $25,000.
The fundraiser will be hosted by the Florida Republican congressional delegation at the waterfront home of GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan and benefits the National Republican Congressional Committee, the newspaper reported.
Despite what would seem an overwhelming task of heading up America’s emergency response to the coronavirus, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated could throw a serious wrench into America’s daily lives, Pence’s appearance at the fundraiser is still on, an RNC spokeswoman told the Times.
Trump has consistently downplayed the threat that coronavirus — known as COVID-19 — poses to the United States, indicating that his administration has the situation pretty well under control. The Times noted that Trump’s comments on the issue this week have “contradicted information provided by his administration’s contagious disease experts about the readiness of a vaccine and other facts.”
And the president’s decision to crown Pence the “coronavirus czar” did not settle much, if any, unease over the administration’s handling of the outbreak — particular given the vice president’s history with the 2015 HIV epidemic in Indiana that occurred under his watch as governor.
The Times noted that Pence’s fundraiser in Longboat Key will take place not even “100 miles away from the Pence fundraiser, two Boston Red Sox prospects from Taiwan are under quarantine because of the coronavirus scare.”