The vice president had some pretty bad timing for describing the current situation in the Sunshine State. Mike Pence was in Florida on Thursday, meeting with Gov. Ron DeSantis about the COVID-19 response in the state. Pence wanted to bring confidence to Floridians that things were going alright.
"We're in a much better place thanks to the leadership of President Trump," Pence said.
The meeting took place amid the backdrop of a grim day for most state residents. Florida soared past the 10,000 mark for COVID-19 cases recorded in a single day. The state follows New York, which saw 12,847 new infections back on April 10, according to Reuters.
It shattered a daily record set just the last weekend when more than 9,000 cases were recorded on Friday, July 26. With the surge in novel coronavirus transmission in the state, DeSantis and Pence urged Floridians to "be vigilant," especially the state's younger population.
"It's not an either-or choice," Pence said. "If all of us will put into practice the guidance from local officials, such as wash your hands, practice good hygiene, wear a mask when it's indicated by local officials or wear a mask when you can't social distance."
Productive briefing with the @GovRonDeSantis. Thank you for your leadership during this unprecedented time. We stan… https://t.co/Cfk4SjPCqj— Mike Pence (@Mike Pence) 1593720026.0
A reporter asked DeSantis if he "took personal responsibility" for the continual spike in COVID cases. DeSantis sniped back with, "Do you give credit to Florida for having much lower fatalities per 100,000 than all the states you just praised?"
According to Statista, Florida has 17 deaths per 100,000 residents, putting the state in the middle of the pack at 26.
WATCH LIVE: Press conference in Tampa with @VP Mike Pence https://t.co/xsdWtYpNTR— Ron DeSantis (@Ron DeSantis) 1593718974.0
With the number of cases skyrocketing, many cities and counties have moved to mandate face coverings while in public, with some of those coming with fines and other penalties attached.
While DeSantis continues to encourage the use of masks, he still won't move to make face masks mandatory statewide.
Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of #COVID19 whi… https://t.co/QjSEBXzU65— Gov. Greg Abbott (@Gov. Greg Abbott) 1593722663.0
However, the pressure to do so might be building as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who like DeSantis long opposed such an order, reversed course and mandated one on Thursday afternoon.