Vice President Pence Discusses the Coronavirus Response on the Morning Shows

Earlier this morning, Vice President Pence joined Good Morning America, The Today Show, Fox & Friends, New Day, and CBS This Morning to discuss the steps that this administration is taking to combat the coronavirus.

ON ABC’s GOOD MORNING AMERICA

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WATCH HERE.

From very early on, President Trump took decisive action to put the health of the American people first.

“We all have known from the beginning that the coronavirus would continue to spread across this country, and it’s one of the reasons why, from very early on, President Trump took decisive action to put the health of the American people first, not only declaring a public health emergency in January, but in that same month he suspended all travel from China -- an unprecedented move -- and quarantined Americans that were returning from the region. Since that time, George, we've -- we've issued travel advisories for areas of South Korea, Italy; screened all persons coming on direct flights.  But, frankly, as we watched the epicenter of the coronavirus shift from China and South Korea to Europe, the President thought it was proper for us to impose a 30-day suspension on all travel from continental Europe.”

The President, again, made another unprecedented decision in suspending all travel from Europe, because we want to stop the flow of people bringing the coronavirus here.

“The reality is that, really, just two weeks ago, in Italy, there were less than 500 cases and now there's 12,000 cases in Italy, George.  We have tens of thousands of people that travel to the United States from Europe every day.  Seventy percent of new cases in the world were in Europe. And when we looked yesterday at the -- what was then the 35 states where we had cases, about 30 of them could be traced to contacts with Europe.  And so the President, again, made another unprecedented decision in suspending all travel from Europe, because we essentially want -- we essentially want to stop the flow of people bringing the coronavirus here, but then continuing to surge resources, particularly into California, Washington State, New York, and other communities where we've seen community spread. It's a combination of efforts that’s being driven by the top health experts in the world on our task force.  But the President -- the President showed again yesterday a willingness to take decisive action on multiple levels to protect the American people.”

We want to send a very clear message to Americans that if for any reason you believe you've been exposed to the coronavirus, you should not be worried about the cost of testing or treatment.

“We're making steady progress.  We're going to continue to make a very clear message to Americans that if for any reason you believe you've been exposed to the coronavirus or you have symptoms, we don't want people to be worried about the cost of testing, to be worried about the cost of treatment… As the President made clear last night, we're working with Congress and exploring actions the President can take to make sure that hourly wage earners know that you can stay home without risking losing a paycheck or losing your job if you feel if you feel that you've been exposed to the coronavirus.”

ON NBC’s TODAY SHOW

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From early on in this effort, we have addressed the testing issue. We made changes through the FDA that allowed for state labs and hospitals to engage in testing.

“From early on in this effort we’ve been addressing the testing issue. We made changes through the FDA that allowed for state labs and university hospitals and hospitals to engage in testing. And I’m pleased to report every state lab in America can do testing now. Many university laboratories are doing it. Washington State – the University of Washington is doing extraordinary work. but we are literally working hour by hour to expand the testing and we think the key Savannah is going to be what we call commercial laboratories like LabCorp and Quest who are already spinning up production at the president’s direction last week on tests that can be available on a broad basis in the days ahead for the American people. we’re making real progress but rest assured we’re going to continue to drive forward.”

The American people should know that President Trump has no higher priority than the health, safety and well-being of the American people.

“The American people should know that President Trump has no higher priority than the health and safety and wellbeing of the people in this country. You can go to coronavirus.gov right now to find out what every American can do to keep yourself, your family, your workplace and your school safe. But you can rest assured we’re going to focus on communities where we’ve had community spread, and the President’s action yesterday suspending travel from Europe is one more example of how he’s putting the health of America first.”

ON FOX NEWS’ FOX & FRIENDS

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The President has called this a whole-of-government approach, but he has also called this is a whole-of-America approach. 

“The President, you know, he said this was a whole-of-government approach but he also said this is a whole-of-America approach.  So he's brought in business leaders from nursing homes; yesterday, banking; hospitals, and the rest.  But one of the things we did that's most important on testing was the President brought in the leaders of the top commercial laboratories in the country who, as we speak, have already approved a test that is being spun up.  It’s being sent out to market.  Quest, LabCorp, the largest commercial laboratories in the country, are working very closely with our administration.  We're clearing the red tape out of the way. That's going to be the way that, in the days ahead, we're going to -- we're going to have broad-based testing available all across the country.”

We are working together to contain the spread of the coronavirus. And we will get through this.

“Our goal, as the coronavirus spreads in this country -- and the vast majority who would contract it will have flu-like symptoms and recover.  Our goal nonetheless is to hold down that overall number as much as possible.  And we will do that with the continuing cooperation of American families, schools, businesses, and states.  And that's the vision President Trump has.  All of us working together will get through this.”

We are focusing on supporting efforts at the state and local level in Washington State, and in California. CDC issued strong guidelines for those communities about public activities, large gatherings and at schools.  We will continue simply to follow the data on this.

“Make no mistake about it: We are also focusing on supporting efforts at the state and local level in California, in Washington State, and in California.  CDC issued very strong guidelines for those communities about public activities, large gatherings, schools.  And we’ll continue simply to follow the data on this and make strong recommendations where we have what's known as “community spread. But for every American, right now, as the President said last night, it's a good time to use common sense.  Wash your hands often.  Clean, you know, often-used surfaces.  All that information is available at Coronavirus.gov.  So we're going to try and mitigate the spread in this country but also prevent, through the President's decisive action last night, people from bringing the coronavirus into the United States any further from Europe.”

We are encouraging best practices for every American.  We are focusing on communities where we have community spread.

“I want to say to your viewers, just as the President said last night, the risk to the average American of contracting the coronavirus remains low, but we do know that seniors with serious underlying chronic health conditions are particularly vulnerable to very serious outcomes.  And so we're encouraging best practices for every American.  We're focusing on communities where we have community spread.

Those with a family member who is a senior citizen should support them in engaging in good hygiene and good health practices.

For any American that's watching today that has a family member or a loved one who’s a senior citizen with a serious underlying health condition, this is a very good time to help and to support them to be able to avoid public places, and everyone around them to engage in good hygiene and good practices to protect those that are most vulnerable.”

ON CNN’s NEW DAY

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WATCH HERE AND HERE.

We have been meeting with industry leaders in one relevant industry after another to ensure that the full resources of America are being brought to bear.

“We're not doing a travel ban as our strategy.  The suspending all travel for 30 days from Europe is a part of the strategy.  The other part is an aggressive mitigation strategy. I spoke to the governors of New York, Washington State, and California tomorrow -- or yesterday.  CDC issued strong guidance to those areas where we have community spread.  We've flowed resources.  We’ve flowed support to those areas.  And so it's a combination of strategies that the President has employed here.  As he says, it's “all hands on deck,” “a whole-of-government approach,” but it's also a whole-of-America approach.  We've literally been meeting with industry leaders in one relevant industry after another to ensure that the full resources of America are being brought to bear.”

Any American who is concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus, should call their doctor and get tested.

“Anyone who's looking on today who might be concerned that they were exposed to coronavirus or have symptoms should call their doctor.  Their doctor, with any question, can call their state laboratory and be able to find out how they can have a test processed.”

We are making steady progress. We don't want anybody to avoid having a test because they are concerned financially.

“But make no mistake about it: We're making steady progress.  We’ve made changes at the FDA in January, at the President's direction.  And the American people can be confident we're going to continue to roll out the test.  And maybe most significant on that score is that the President brought health insurance companies in last week and they all agreed to waive the co-pays on testing.  We expanded testing to Medicare and Medicaid patients.  And we also expanded coverage for treatment, and health insurance companies expanded coverage for treatment.  We don't want anybody to avoid having a test because they’re concerned financially.”

The risk to the average American remains low.

“I want people to know that the risk to contracting the coronavirus, according to all of our experts, for the average American remains low.  Most people that contract it, will have flu-like symptoms and recover.”

ON CBS This Morning

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WATCH HERE.

We are going to continue to put in every effort in place to protect the health and safety of the American people.

“The President took the unprecedented step of suspending all travel from China which was the originating country of this virus. We also established travel advisories, and we've been screening passengers on all direct flights from South Korea and Italy. But with the epicenter of this epidemic now moving from China and South Korea to Europe, yesterday the President again took the unprecedented step of suspending all travel from Europe for the next 30 days, and that in combination with our strong mitigation efforts in communities that are experiencing what our experts call community spread, areas of California, Washington State, and New York, we're going to continue to put every effort at home and with regard to these travel restrictions in place to protect the health and safety of the American people.”

In the days ahead, we are going to continue to see the availability of tests at your local doctor and your local pharmacy expand.

“Testing is happening in every state lab in the country. Many university hospitals have taken the FDA test, like the University of Washington, is doing a great job expanding testing capabilities. But the biggest piece on the testing is that our commercial labs that the President brought in last week, companies like Quest and LabCorp, have already had approved a new test that they several days ago had begun to take to market which they can do in a vast and expansive way across the country. And literally in the days ahead, we're going to continue to see the availability of tests at your local doctor, ultimately at your local pharmacy, continue to expand.”

When President Trump learned that 70% of the new cases this week, around the world, were in Europe, he took decisive action to protect the American people.

“Make no mistake about it: All the new cases in the world, this week, 70% of the new cases were in Europe. And the increase has been dramatic. When the President imposed the travel advisory and we began screening all flights, all passengers coming into the United States from Italy two weeks ago, there were roughly 500 coronavirus cases. Now there's 12,000, about 1,000 in Germany, about 1,000 in France. That's the reason why the President essentially said full stop, we're going to suspend all travel, and that American citizens coming home and legal residents will be funneled through 13 different airports. They'll get an initial health screening coming in. But we're going to ask everyone returning to our country to self-quarantine for 14 days.”