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Pence Concedes that US’ Coronavirus Outbreak Is “Most Comparable” to Italy
By Staff, Agencies
US Vice President Mike Pence conceded on Wednesday that the US' coronavirus outbreak may be "most comparable" to Italy, the hardest-hit country in the world.
"We think Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States at this point," Pence told CNN on Wednesday.
More than 12,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Italy, where the healthcare system has been massively overwhelmed. For weeks, the president and other top US officials downplayed the threat the virus posed and insisted it had been or would be contained.
The White House announced on Tuesday that it predicts between 100,000 to 240,000 people could die in the US from the coronavirus even with strict social distancing measures in place.
Trump on Tuesday said he knew from the start that the US's coronavirus outbreak "could be horrible," but repeatedly downplayed the threat because he wanted to stay positive and be a "cheerleader" for the country.
At Tuesday's White House press briefing, Trump was asked whether he lulled Americans into a false sense of security by telling the public that the virus would go away quickly, even as it was clear the number of cases and death toll were on the rise.
"I knew everything. I knew it could be horrible, I knew it could be maybe good," Trump said. "I don't want to be a negative person."
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