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Hartzler Supports Vice President Pence Leading Coronavirus Response

February 28, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) issued the following statement in support of President Trump's appointment of Vice President Pence to lead the response of the coronavirus threat:

"The appointment of Vice President Pence, who serves as the second-in-command in our Executive, to lead the coronavirus response demonstrates just how seriously the Administration is taking this threat and how proactive the President has been in addressing this global health concern.

Vice President Pence has the executive and managerial experience to oversee this operation and is already putting together the best and brightest our nation has to offer to confront this public health and national security threat. The attacks from Bernie Sanders and other Democratic presidential candidates that Vice President Pence does not have the credentials to lead this charge are ignorant and a desperate attempt to politicize a serious health threat.
 
Vice President Pence’s appointment of Ambassador Debbie Birx to serve as the coronavirus response coordinator is a great first step in pulling together a team of experts. Birx, who served as a physician in the United States Army, has spent her post-military career working in the immunology field as Assistant Chief of Hospital at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and then as the Director of the United States Military HIV Research Program. She has also served under two presidents working as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Division of Global AIDS/HIV under President Bush and President Obama, and then as Global AIDS Coordinator under President Obama.
 
This baseless criticism levied at the Vice President is a sad but predictable move from the Democratic presidential field to politicize this health threat. At a time when we should be unified in supporting all efforts to deal with the coronavirus, politicians are using this threat as a last-ditch Hail Mary pass to try and score political points in the presidential election.

As a former Member of Congress, a former governor and now Vice President, Mike Pence is more equipped than any of his critics to lead this effort and I fully support him in this role.  I look forward to working with President Trump and Vice President Pence, as well as state and federal agencies, to ensure Missourians are kept safe in the face of this grave public health and national security threat."