Vice President Mike Pence Visits West Virginia, Praises State COVID-19 Response
Vice President Mike Pence visited West Virginia on Saturday, meeting with Gov. Jim Justice, and several lawmakers, for a roundtable discussion.
The meeting, which included Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the Trump administration, occurred ahead of a $25,000 a seat Trump campaign fundraising dinner that Pence will headline, set for Saturday evening at the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs.
“We are truly grateful for the leadership you have shown, your team has shown, your delegation to Washington has shown,” Pence said, praising state efforts as the nation continues to fight the coronavirus.
“It is clear that the people of West Virginia have put the health of your neighbors and those who are most vulnerable first,” the vice president said.
Pence assured that the federal government will provide resources to states to protect people but also to open up the economy.
“I want to commend you for the way the West Virginia economy has stayed open,” Pence added, noting that 83 percent of West Virginia’s small businesses are open today.
“That is a demonstration of the character and resilience of the people of this great state… We’re absolutely determined to partner with you until we bring West Virginia back to work and back to school,” he said.
Among those attending the discussion were U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who is up for re-election against Democratic opponent Paula Jean Swearengin.
"If we get healthy, then the economy can get going again,” Moore said at the gathering, which was broadcast online Saturday.
Justice thanked Pence for the visit and turned his attention on schools, which are set to re-open on Sept. 8.
“If you’re going to open up America, you’ve got to open up America’s schools,” he said.
Justice noted the importance of getting children back in classrooms and acknowledged the burden on single parents, in particular, to help their children stay educated and continue to provide for families.
“West Virginia has been a model in a lot of ways,” Justice said. “We’re going to win this battle. We’re going cross this finish line. We’re going to go back to school but we’re going to do this safely.”