NANTUCKET (CBS) — Governor Charlie Baker met with Vice President Mike Pence on Nantucket to discuss the federal response to coronavirus in Massachusetts Saturday. Pence was on the island for a campaign fundraiser for President Trump.
The governor did not attend the event.
“Thank you for your strong and steady leadership throughout this pandemic and [I] assure you and the people of Massachusetts that we’re with you,” Pence said in a press briefing. He promised the state will receive continued help with testing, resources for health care workers, and medicine for the sick.
“We want to commend you for the innovative efforts that your administration has taken working with us to extend testing all across the state. I know at this point you’ve tested more than a million residents of the state of Massachusetts,” Pence said. “That’s a testament governor to your leadership. It’s a testament to the people of Massachusetts who during some early days, in this pandemic, were willing to make personal sacrifices to put the health of others first.”
The Vice President also commended Baker for the state’s reopening process and his efforts to provide schools with resources to reopen. Pence stressed the importance of returning kids to the classroom and said the risk of coronavirus to healthy kids was “very low.”
“We simply believe that it’s best for our kids to be back in the classroom. It’s best for working families and it’s the best for our country. We don’t want our kids to fall behind academically. But as you understand, Governor, as so many children receive counseling, children facing learning disabilities get special education, children with special needs and also children facing nutrition challenges receive those services at our schools. And so our commitment to you, Governor is we’re going to make sure that the state of Massachusetts has the resources to be able to safely reopen your schools as soon as that as possible.”
Admiral Brett Giroir was also in attendance. He applauded the testing tactics used in Massachusetts, highlighting two labs that now have the ability to run pooled testing. “This is sort of what the federal-state cooperation really needs to look like. That’s why we’ve been able to achieve you’ve been able to achieve The percent positivity under two percent,” he said.
Baker also thanked the Vice President and the Admiral for the visit and their work with the taskforce.