Pence says coronavirus could be 'largely' behind us by Memorial Day weekend

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Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that he thinks the coronavirus pandemic could "largely" be "behind us” by Memorial Day Weekend.

“Am I going to be on my boat and fishing in early June, Mr. Vice President?” Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera asked Pence on his radio show.

“If you look at the trends today, I think by Memorial Day Weekend we will largely have this coronavirus epidemic behind us,” said Pence, who is chair of the White House coronavirus task force. “State and local officials will begin to reopen activities, you’re going to see states ahead here begin to do that.”

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Some states are making quick moves to get businesses up and running as quickly as possible. On Friday, Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp will reopen some businesses in the state, including gyms, barbershops and nail salons.

President Trump on Wednesday said he “disagrees strongly" with Kemp’s decision to reopen so soon, saying that his plan was in “violation of the Phase I guidelines” that the administration has laid out.

Last Thursday, Trump announced the White House’s three-part plan to begin the reopening process, which recommends 14 days of declining new infections, as well as 14 days of declining COVID-like syndromic cases and influenza-like illnesses, before moving to the reopening phase Kemp has called for.

Other states such as Florida have already reopened parks and beaches. A number of states have announced phased reopenings beginning in early May.

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Virginia, however, has a stay-at-home order set to expire well beyond Memorial Day: June 10. Hardest-hit state New York has extended its stay-at-home order until May 15.

So far, the U.S. has faced 856,209 coronavirus cases and 47,272 deaths.