‘Can the uninsured get tested?’ Pence walks out of presser without answering key coronavirus question

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Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

As the coronavirus spreads across the US, the question of who can afford to get tested becomes increasingly pressing. But don’t expect Vice President Pence, coordinator of the country’s response, to weigh in on the topic anytime soon.

At the end of a press briefing, reporter Brian J. Karem asked Pence if uninsured people could get tested for the virus. Pence left the room rather than answering.

1. Doing it for the camera

Trump's 7 worst pardons 3

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When Karem asked a second time, Pence’s Press Secretary Katie Miller retorted, “Screaming for the camera doesn’t get you anywhere.”

Miller also happens to be married to Trump advisor and white nationalist  Stephen Miller.

2. The cost of coronavirus testing

Money Cash Dollars

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There’s currently no clear answer on how much it costs to get checked for the coronavirus. USAToday found that a viral post about $3000 tests was false, but couldn’t pinpoint the exact price of testing.

They noted that those seeking testing would likely also have to pay for emergency room or doctor’s visits, as well as tests for other respiratory illnesses.



3. A tale of two Washingtons

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Pence’s refusal to discuss testing affordability in DC came in stark contrast to an announcement from the Washington state’s insurance commissioner. On Thursday, Commissioner Mike Kreidler ordered certain insurance providers to offer doctor’s appointments and coronavirus testing without co-pays or deductibles.

The emergency declaration applies to the 1.2 million Washington residents with state-regulated plans. It doesn’t apply to self-funded employer plans, Medicare, or Medicaid. People eligible for coverage must also match certain criteria for testing.

If a person doesn’t have any insurance, Governor Jay Inslee has said that the state will aid with testing costs.

While the Washington State plan isn’t perfect, it’s a stark contrast to Pence’s outright refusal to discuss how the uninsured will afford coronavirus testing.

4. Tip of the iceberg

'Can the uninsured get tested?' Pence walks out of presser without answering key coronavirus question

Source: Canva

Not considering coronavirus testing for the uninsured it only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways the administration has mishandled the pandemic.

For example, Trump recently told Sean Hannity the followings:

“A lot of people will have this and it’s very mild. They’ll get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor, they don’t even call a doctor. You never hear about those people. So you can’t put them down in the category of the overall population in terms of this corona flu and or virus. So you just can’t do that. So, if you know, we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work. Some of them go to work, but they get better.”

There other equally irresponsible things on the long list of missteps too.

5. Shutting out the public

The White House

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Last week, the Trump administration prohibited journalists from taking any video or audio recordings while Mike Pence held a coronavirus briefing in the White House briefing room. Reporters were limited to taking still photos.

6. Why is Pence in charge?

Mike Pence Vice President

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Considering Pence led his state to an outbreak of HIV while he was governor, it seems an odd choice to put him in charge of leading the nation through a viral crisis.

Trump limited his choices on leadership because he fired the pandemic response team In 2018. The government’s entire pandemic response chain of command was let go in an effort to further destroy the Obama legacy.

Trump shut down the global health security unit within the NSC, and the DHS epidemic team was also pushed out. No one was ever replaced.

7. Exaggerating the efforts

Pence's claim to have "done a fair amount of testing" for Coronavirus is misleading. Here's why.

Source: Screenshot/Fox News

During an interview on Fox New’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Mike Pence claimed the task force had done a “fair amount of testing,” by screening 47,000 people coming in through designated airports throughout the country.

Coronavirus “screening” is different from actual testing for the disease.  Screenings at airports and elsewhere check for elevated body temperature and travel history that might show potential exposure.  A coronavirus test is much more sophisticated and includes DNA testing that determines if the patient has the virus.

8. Ignoring the CDC

Cruise Ship Boat Ocean Travel Virus

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In addition to spreading false information, the administration is not even listening to the experts.

For example, the Washington Post revealed that a “top Trump administration health official” and the State Department ignored the CDC’s recommendations when they decided to bring Americans who had tested positive for the coronavirus home.

The CDC recommended that infected passengers stay quarantined in Japan. However, administrative officials ultimately decided that the infected people could fly back as long as they remained in a section of the plane blocked off with plastic.

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