Mike Pence in Minnesota: ‘America Works When America Is Working’

Mike Pence at Mayo Clinic
AP Photo

Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Minnesota on Tuesday to visit the Mayo Clinic and meet with Democrat Gov. Tim Walz as the state joins a number of others nationwide to begin the reopening process.

Pence, the chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has been leading the American response to the pandemic plaguing America’s public health and economy. While the entire establishment media is focused on Pence not wearing a mask while he thanked Mayo Clinic health workers, the vice president and his team–as well as Gov. Walz and his team–were focused on next-stage efforts to get the country back to work and past the coronavirus crisis.

Pence said in remarks during a roundtable with Mayo Clinic healthcare workers and Gov. Walz:

I would just say to every American looking on that the best way to hasten the day that we can reopen Minnesota and reopen America is to continue to heed the guidance that you’ve received from state and local authorities as we continue to practice social distancing. And we’ll continue to scale the kind of testing and resources that we need to meet this moment. But I can assure you that the President of United States, his Vice President, your governor, and I know every citizen of Minnesota looks for the day that we can — that we can get America working again. We all know that America works when America is working and the progress and the innovation you’ve developed here, Dr. Farrugia, is going to make it that much more possible to reopen Minnesota and to reopen America.

Walz, a Democrat governor who has begun the process of reopening Minnesota, praised Pence and President Donald Trump during the event.

“I can tell you that the vice president spends countless hours on the phone with governors every week. He’s there to pick up the phone when we call,” Walz said. “I want to thank you and the president.”

Minnesota is one of the state that started reopening some non-essential businesses this week. The Star-Tribune reported this weekend on Walz letting some businesses and workers get back to work early:

Walz announced last Thursday that he would allow earlier reopening of around 20,000 businesses, mostly in small manufacturing and warehousing, putting 80,000 to 100,000 Minnesotans back to work four weeks after a state-mandated shutdown.

Walz’s stay-at-home order remains in effect until May 4, but this ahead-of-schedule reopening is a big step for a state with a Democrat governor–one that Pence is clearly aiming to highlight, along with appearing with and thanking frontline healthcare workers. It’s also one of just a handful of moments either the president or Vice President has been outside Washington, DC, since the beginning of the crisis – a major step back towards normalcy for a country that’s spent more than a month essentially locked down nationwide.

CBS News’s Mark Knoller tweeted out some reports of Pence interacting with healthcare workers at the Mayo Clinic:

The Mayo Clinic also thanked Walz and Pence on Twitter after the event:

According to its website, the Mayo Clinic is taking a number of steps to combat the coronavirus.

The Mayo Clinic’s website states in a release:

Mayo Clinic staff at all locations have been trained and are prepared to care for patients with serious infections such as COVID-19. Mayo treats these patients and their conditions with an abundance of caution. Mayo Clinic has taken extraordinary steps, including postponing all but essential surgeries and procedures, and has been a leader in implementing masking and other processes to keep patients safe while responding to the pandemic.

The Mayo Clinic has also been conducting many diagnostic and serological tests and is working on developing potentially promising convalescent plasma treatments for COVID-19 patients using blood plasma from recovered patients.

The success of Minnesota in fighting coronavirus and beginning to reopen earlier than planned also comes as the Star-Tribune has begun reporting skeptically on the actual impact of the virus as opposed to early projections that have proven incorrect.

Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter whose tweets during the coronavirus pandemic questioning the lockdowns have gained notoriety, earlier on Tuesday praised the Star-Tribune for publishing a piece critical of the conventional wisdom surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing panic:

Minnesota is also, interestingly, a state that Pence and Trump are aiming to flip from Democrat to Republican in November’s presidential election for the first time since Richard Nixon’s 1972 re-election. Trump came within 45,000 votes of winning Minnesota in 2016 against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, a margin that was less than – not just the third place finisher libertarian Gary Johnson’s vote total – but also the vote total of fourth place finisher Evan McMullin, the Never Trump candidate that year. It is particularly notable that Minnesota has not been won by a Republican in a presidential race since 1972, as Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign saw him win all 49 other states–except Minnesota.

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