Vice President Mike Pence campaigned on Sunday despite a COVID-19 outbreak among his aides and President Donald Trump claimed progress as the United States set records for daily infections, prompting Democratic challenger Joe Biden to accuse Trump of surrendering to the pandemic.
With nine days to go before the Nov. 3 election, the White House cited Pence’s status as an “essential worker” as justification for his campaign travel despite exposure to his chief of staff, Marc Short, who tested positive on Saturday.
Multiple senior aides to Pence also tested positive for COVID-19, the White House chief of staff said.
A spokesman for the vice president said late on Saturday that Pence and his wife had tested negative. Pence addressed a rally in Kinston, North Carolina, on Sunday and will be in Hibbing, Minnesota, on Monday.
The United States in the past two days has registered its highest number of new COVID-19 cases – about 84,000 on Friday and about 79,900 on Saturday. The pandemic, which has caused about 225,000 U.S. deaths and left millions of Americans jobless, remains front and center in the presidential race.