Vice President Mike Pence touted the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic and economic recovery at a campaign stop in Duluth on Friday. Pence also highlighted that President Donald Trump will stand for law and order as Wisconsin and other states have sometimes witnessed violent protests.
Hundreds gathered at the Clure Public Marine Terminal in the Twin Ports on Friday to hear the vice president speak. Pence echoed many of the themes from his speech at the convention, in which he said the 2020 election is a choice of "whether America remains America."
He touted President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has reached more than 5.8 million cases nationwide and claimed the lives of more than 181,000 as of Friday. Pence said Trump acted quickly to suspend all travel from China, as well as provide billions of supplies to health care professionals working on the front lines of the pandemic.
Yet, Democrats like presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden say 45 countries enacted travel restrictions before Trump, who suspended travel shortly after the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency. Democratic governors were also critical of the administration in the early days of the pandemic for difficulty accessing testing supplies.
Pence also said that a coronavirus vaccine could be available by the end of the year as top virus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned against rushing out a vaccine before it's been proven safe. Pence promised supporters that the Trump administration would continue to put the health of Americans first as they worked to rebuild the economy. Many of the people waiting in line to enter the event on Friday were not wearing masks, but campaign officials told supporters they were required to get in.
Trump supporter Becky Hall of Duluth said health and jobs are among her top concerns. She feels that the administration has been doing a great job handling the pandemic.
"We're practicing safe measures. I got my own mask right now," she said, pointing to her bandana. "We're doing it, and we're going to get back to health. And, we need to do it soon. I appreciate that our president and our vice president want us back to work and back to our way of life."
Trump supporter Doug Poynter of Superior voiced concerns about how people are being told to act during the coronavirus pandemic.
"People aren't going to have the free choice to do their work or whatever," Poynter said.
Poynter also believes Trump has done a good job with the economy as unemployment has declined from 14.7 to 10.2 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. Yet, more than 16 million people remain unemployed, according to most recent job figures. He also felt Trump has done well with handling turmoil over police shootings in cities like Kenosha, Minneapolis and Portland. He highlighted Trump's offer of federal assistance to local authorities.