Mike Pence, who enabled an HIV outbreak in Indiana, will lead US coronavirus response

President Trump Campaigns In Iowa Ahead Of Democratic Caucus Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence will take charge of the US response to the new coronavirus, President Donald Trump announced today. “Mike is not a czar,” Trump said. “I don’t view Mike as a czar.”

Pence is not a public health expert, either. Instead, as governor of Indiana, he slashed public health spending and delayed the introduction of needle exchanges, which led to the state’s worst outbreak of HIV. He takes over from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar who has been heading the White House coronavirus task force since the beginning of January.

Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves, who conducted the research linking the Indiana HIV outbreak to Pence’s policies, tweeted that the decision “speaks to a lack of seriousness by the...

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