The Trump campaign has postponed Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign events in Florida and Arizona next week “out of an abundance of caution,” a campaign spokesperson told CNN.
The decision to postpone these political stops come as both states and the country experience a surge in coronavirus cases and as the Trump administration’s own public health experts continue to warn against large public gatherings.
Pence had a handful of campaign and political-related events scheduled as part of his trips to both the Sunshine State and the Grand Canyon State. The Vice President’s office did not provide an updated schedule for his trips.
“The Vice President is still traveling to Texas, Arizona, and Florida this week as he said he is meeting with the governors and their healthcare teams,” a spokesperson from the office said in a statement to CNN.
The Associated Press and NBC first reported the schedule changes.
During Friday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing Pence said that he would be traveling to Texas, Arizona and Florida, three of the states hardest hit in recent weeks by the pandemic, so he could “get a ground report.”
Pence on Sunday will travel to Texas where he will speak at First Baptist Church in Dallas to participate in a “Celebrate Freedom Rally,” which his office bills as a celebration of American freedom and spirit. He will then meet with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott about Covid-19.
When pressed Friday by reporters over the wisdom of holding campaign rallies, Pence described it as a personal decision outside the government’s purview.
“The freedom of speech, the right to peaceably assemble is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States,” Pence said when asked why he and President Donald Trump moved forward with campaign events.
“We have an election coming up this fall,” Pence said. “And President Trump and I believe that, taking proper steps – we created screening at recent events – and giving people the very best counsel that we have, we still want to give people the freedom to participate in the political process. And we respect that.”