Today, Vice President Mike Pence led a discussion with the chief executives of approximately 50 States, territories, and the city of Washington, DC, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to discuss local, State, and Federal COVID-19 response and best practices on safely reopening America’s schools. The discussion centered on addressing both the holistic health and the learning objective of our Nation’s students.
Vice President Pence discussed best practices with our Nation’s governors on limiting the COVID-19 spread while keeping America open, including encouraging Americans to adhere to state and local guidelines and to wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained. They also discussed efforts to expand testing, support long-term care residents, increase healthcare capacity, and safety reopening America’s schools. Dr. Birx. discussed testing and trends, including asking our Nation’s governors to utilize and expand pooled testing.
The Vice President led a discussion on best practices to empower State, local, and tribal leaders to safely reopen America’s schools in ways that respect physical, mental and social health of students and advance the learning goals and objectives of our Nation’s students. Several governors discussed leading practices to safely reopen America’s K-12 schools and higher education institutions this Fall. Secretary Azar provided an overview of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention guidance for safely reopening schools. Secretary DeVos provided additional perspective on safely reopening schools. Dr. Redfield and Dr. McCance-Katz shared perspective on the holistic health of students.
Additionally, the Vice President reiterated his call to governors to ask their citizens who have fully recovered from COVID-19 to donate convalescent plasma.
Participants from the White House Coronavirus Task Force:
- The Vice President
- Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D., White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator
- Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
- Secretary Betsy DeVos, U.S. Department Education (DED)
- Administrator Pete Gaynor, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Director Robert Redfield, M.D., Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), HHS
- Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D. Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS
- Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense (DOD)
Since January 2020, the Trump Administration has led over 320 briefings – including 28 governors’ briefings – with over 147,000 State, local, and Tribal participants.