Vice President Mike Pence is set to take the stage tonight in the Vice Presidential Debate against Sen. Kamala Harris, and it’s likely that his biggest supporters will be in the crowd cheering him on. Pence’s wife and three children have consistently praised his work as Vice President over the years. Most recently, Pence’s daughter, Charlotte Pence Bond, took to Instagram to praise her father’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic over the course of the last several months.
In an August 16 post, Charlotte wrote,
True character and leadership are found on the day after Election Day, when unforeseen challenges arise and leaders must face unprecedented trials. I’ve never been more proud of you than I have over the past year. Watching you encourage and reassure our country through this pandemic has shown the world something I’ve always known as your daughter. Your kind, calming, and gentle nature is irreplaceable. But you’ve also always taught me that true peace doesn’t come from within – it comes from our faith in God, and our belief that He will be the calm in the midst of every storm.
Here’s what you need to know:
Pence Was Named the Leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force in February
In February, Pence was tapped to replace former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as the leader of the White House’s coronavirus task force. Since then, he has been repeatedly criticized for the White House’s response to the pandemic.
In June, Pence wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal claiming that the United States was “winning the fight against an invisible enemy.” Pence went on,
The truth is that we’ve made great progress over the past four months, and it’s a testament to the leadership of President Trump. When the president asked me to chair the White House Coronavirus Task Force at the end of February, he directed us to pursue not only a whole-of-government approach but a whole-of-America approach. The president brought together major commercial labs to expand our testing capacity, manufacturers to produce much-needed medical equipment, and major pharmaceutical companies to begin research on new medicines and vaccines. He rallied the American people to embrace social-distancing guidelines. And the progress we’ve made is remarkable.
Four months later, the U.S. is averaging 40,000 new cases a day, and the national death count has surpassed 211,000, according to the latest report by MarketWatch.
Is Pence Still in Charge of the Coronavirus Task Force? Does the Task Force Still Exist?
In a recent interview with Slate’s Mary Harris, Dan Diamond of Politico answered the question of what the current status is of the coronavirus task force. Diamond said, “It still does [exist], but I think it’s an artifact of the earlier response. There’s an effort called Operation Warp Speed that’s working to speed up a coronavirus vaccine and treatments. It’s been set up more rigorously than the task force.”
Operation Warp Speed…is much more regimented. It’s clearer who’s in charge of which part of developing a vaccine, of developing treatments. And that’s where a lot of energy and focus now lies. But it’s hard to get rid of a coronavirus task force in the middle of an outbreak. So it still meets. It’s still used as a forum to perhaps communicate within the government about these issues. But it is not the going concern it was at the beginning of the year.