"Can the uninsured get tested?" (crickets)

 

Vice-President Mike Pence, best known for botching the response to an HIV outbreak while Governor of Indiana (causing up to 200 additional residents to be infected with the disease due to his poor handling of it) has, naturally, now been put in charge of the federal response to the #COVID19 outbreak nationally:

On Wednesday February 26, President Trump placed Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the response to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. The gesture was partly politics—signaling the disease was important enough to require the vice president’s attention—but also built on a claim about Pence’s expertise as the former governor of Indiana. As he assigned him to this task, the president praised Pence, maintaining that Indiana under his leadership was a model for the country in its approach to health.

...It’s true that Pence faced an HIV outbreak while he was the governor, and that he eventually allowed a needle exchange. But his revisionist history misrepresents his role in what transpired in the small town of Austin, Indiana five years ago, where over 200 people were infected with HIV. What happened is that Pence failed to act in response to increasingly urgent signs of a significant HIV outbreak, and he delayed implementation of vital public health measures. Among public health experts, the Indiana outbreak is considered a failure of state response, and an example of how poor political leadership can actually make a crisis worse.

How do we know? We closely studied the dynamics of the Scott County HIV outbreak from 2011 to 2015, as well as the policy responses of the state’s leaders. Our full account was published in a 2018 article in the scientific journal The Lancet HIV. Here’s what happened...

Anyway, the snippet above of the tail end of a press conference on coronavirus was just posted by a Twitter follower of mine (h/t @mcspocky@IvanTheK).

Probably not picked up by most news coverage. #COVID-19

"Can the uninsured get tested?"

<silence>

"Gentlemen, ladies… Can the uninsured get tested?"

WH staffer(?): "Screaming for the camera can't get you anywhere."

tRump admin… SMH

VIA @IvanTheK

— McSpocky #VoteBlue2020 (@mcspocky) March 5, 2020