US Vice President encourages testing and wearing a mask

United States Vice President Mike Pence encouraged young Americans to get a coronavirus test if they have concerns.

During his briefing with Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday, Pence discussed how they can “speed up test results.” He said he would take the comments to the White House Coronavirus Task Force and private administration partners.

United States President Donald Trump has repeatedly downplayed the need for increased testing. At his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last week, Trump suggested he had asked for the tests to be delayed.

Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told reporters that Texas health officials are seeing an increase in hospitalization rates among people in their 20s and 40s, which she says indicates that there is a large percentage of positive but asymptomatic cases in this age group.

Pence also encouraged Americans to wear a face mask, but again cited local ordinances for the use of face protection.

“If your local officials in consultation with the state order you to wear a mask, we encourage everyone to wear a mask in affected areas and where you cannot maintain social distancing; Wearing a mask is a good idea and we know from experience that it will slow down the spread of the coronavirus, ”Pence said in a briefing at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas on Sunday.

Later in the briefing, Birx said, “I am appealing to all Texans to wear a mask.” Pence and Birx stressed that younger Americans must take steps to protect older ones.

“This is a time when you really have, we have to embrace and protect the most vulnerable among us, and in particular, older people with underlying health conditions are precisely those who have the worst results,” said Pence.

Pence wore a mask earlier Sunday while visiting a church, but he has not always worn it at public events.