Coronavirus Taskforce: Vice President Pence Meets with Louisiana Governor Edwards

Vice President Pence participates in a roundtable discussion at LSU's Tiger Stadium with higher education leaders focusing on fall reopening plans and university sports programs. Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via AP)

On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence met with Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards and LSU officials at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge to discuss operations of Louisiana school reopenings and athletics due to the Coronavirus response. Several health and education officials as well as members of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation were also in attendance.

Louisiana is among one of the nation’s top states escalating in Coronavirus cases, exceeding 80,000 cases. However, Pence stated that although cases are rising in Louisiana, the nation is “in a much better position today to deal with the pandemic” and the state does not have to wait to start returning to normal as long as everyone wears masks, practices personal hygiene such as washing hands, and exercises social distancing.

Ok, today was one for the books! I enjoyed every second of it and am so grateful I was able to experience Vice…

Posted by Cami Tullier on Tuesday, July 14, 2020

“Let me just say on behalf of the President and our entire White House Coronavirus Task Force that Governor Edwards, we support your efforts here in Louisiana to slow the spread, to protect the vulnerable, to keep opening up your economy and opening up your schools,” Vice President Pence said at the briefing. “It was here in Louisiana that the people of this state, your state leadership, your healthcare workers have already demonstrated that people of Louisiana know how to slow the spread… They know how to flatten the curve, they did it before, and we’re very confident Louisiana is going to do it again, as we see rising cases now across the state.”

Louisiana residents were also encouraged that the Trump administration is supportive of the endeavors Louisiana is making and commended Gov. Edwards for early testing, “President Trump asked me to be here to send a very clear message to the people of Louisiana: That we’re with you, and we’re going to stay with you until we put this coronavirus completely in the past and we open up this economy, open up our schools, and we move this state and this nation forward bigger and better than ever before…We’re incredibly inspired by Louisiana’s innovation from very early on in expanding testing — well above the national average, and we’ll continue to support efforts in that regard.”


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During the news conference, Pence announced that reopening schools was in the best interest of all students. “To open up America, we have to open up American schools. We believe it’s absolutely in the best interest of students academically and in terms of every aspect of their well-being to get kids back in the classroom in K-12 and to get students back on campuses like LSU,” he said.

Gov. Edwards is permitting students to return to school this fall and Louisiana schools are arranging a mix of online and in-person learning. While many Louisiana residents are concerned about children keeping their masks on during school hours, Pence stated that each state has to go off of their unique circumstances, “The CDC guidance for schools involves encouraging children and faculty to wear masks where social distancing is not possible. The reality is that there are many states in the country, many counties across the country where it would not be necessary to wear a mask, but we think it’s always been important from the very beginning to recognize the unique circumstances of each state and each community.”

LSU fans anxious to know the status of football this fall were assured that “tests are being conducted regularly to ensure the safety of staff and athletes.” Pence said, “As Coach O and I discussed today I think it’s important not just for the student athletes, not just for schools like LSU, but it’s important for America. We are prepared to work with the athletic director with universities around the country to make sure they have the support, the resources and the guidance to move forward.”

“To every member of Louisiana, we want to make sure you know we are with you, and we are going to stay with you every step of the way,” Pence said. “I read a verse in my devotions this morning that we’re called to run the race marked out for us with endurance and with faith.  And I’m confident that with the endurance, the perseverance, and the faith of the people of this great state and this nation, that we’ll every day be one day closer to putting this coronavirus in the past.”