Put a Competent Medical Professional in Charge of Coronavirus Outbreak. Get Pence Out!

Care2 update, 5/1/2020: We didn't need more proof that Mike Pence is the last person who should lead the White House's coronavirus task force, but more emerged anyway. On April 28th, Vice President Pence visited the Mayo Clinic, an esteemed healthcare institute in Minnesota. There, he spoke with staff and patients -- and, unlike literally everyone else there, he refused to wear a face mask (even though the Mayo Clinic had informed his team masks were mandatory). When a reporter outed him, he threatened punishment in retaliation.

This level of incompetence is dangerous, putting these healthcare workers' lives at risk and sending a wildly disrespectful, arrogant, and reckless message to the American public. 

The scariest part of living in the US right now during a pandemic is that the people in charge are so obviously incapable of actually protecting us. They have made mistake upon mistake for months, all while spreading misinformation that has actively been hurting us. It's time to get some competent people in the room making decisions.

Sign on to demand that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence steps down as the leader of the US response to coronavirus and an actual medical professional is appointed and given power instead. 

The mistakes are piling up and each one endangers the lives of actually people as well as causing more and more economic disruption. From the beginning, Trump has followed his usual brand of ignoring reality by minimizing the outbreak of the novel virus COVID-19 (commonly known as the coronavirus). 

In January he even refused the World Health Organization's (WHO) offer to send testing kits to us -- kits that have proven to be much-needed, since our own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) botched their initial attempt to create kits, and have only just now begun rolling them out to healthcare providers. Then, Trump tried to control the virus's spread by limiting travel from China, but that was ineffective because the virus had already spread to multiple other countries. On top of that, US authorities did an inadequate (and sometimes non-existent) job of screening folks coming in from hot spots in other countries. All of this has meant the rapid community spread of the virus from American to American -- and it will get worse.

Meanwhile, the right wing pundits who pander to Trump are telling their viewers, many of whom are elderly and therefore higher risk, that the virus is no big deal. Even actual officials like Ben Carson are giving medically inaccurate information. Not to mention there has been hardly any testing in the US, meaning that infected individuals who are asymptomatic could have been spreading the virus for days, weeks, or even months. In Seattle, there is proof that the virus had already been circulating for weeks before the cases really rose quickly. 

This could all have been handled differently in order to keep us and our communities safe. But, as always, Trump's first priority was his ego. By appointing Pence to lead the nation's response, it's clear Trump continues to prove he is not taking this looming crisis seriously.

Our leaders are failing us: we need actual medical professionals and public health professionals to be in charge, not Mike Pence. Demand better leadership in this moment of public health crisis right now!

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