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Pence cancels some political events because of virus spikes

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a news conference with the Coronavirus task force at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, Friday, June 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a news conference with the Coronavirus task force at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, Friday, June 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – Vice President Mike Pence called off campaign events in Florida and Arizona this coming week as the states experience a surge in new coronavirus cases.

Pence will still travel to those states, which have set records for new confirmed infections in recent days, the White House confirmed, saying he will meet with governors and their health teams.

Pence said Friday during a briefing by the White House’s coronavirus task force that he would be visiting Florida, Texas and Arizona to receive a “ground report” on spiking cases of COVD-19 across the region. The three states' Republican governors have come under criticism for pushing for aggressive reopening after virus-related lockdowns as cases in the states rise.

Pence is traveling to Dallas on Sunday to attend a “Celebrate Freedom Rally” at First Baptist Church Dallas before meeting with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. But planned political events later in the week have been pushed off.

On Tuesday, Pence was supposed to address a Trump-Pence campaign “Faith in America” event in Tuscon, Arizona, before meeting Gov. Doug Ducey in Yuma. The campaign event has been postponed.

In Florida on Thursday, Pence was to embark on a bus tour, including an appearance in Lake Wales at an event organized by the pro-Trump group America First Policies billed as the “Great American Comeback tour.” The group announced that “out of an abundance of caution at this time, we are postponing the Great American Comeback tour stop in Florida. We look forward to rescheduling soon.”

The Sarasota County Republican Party confirmed in a note to supporters that Pence’s campaign event along the Gulf Coast of the state was also postponed. He was still set to meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis.