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As U.S. Soars Past 2.5 Million Coronavirus Cases, Pence Urges Americans To Wear Masks, Social Distance

Vice President Pence removes his mask before speaking at the Southern Baptist megachurch in Dallas during a Celebrate Freedom Rally. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

  Vice President Pence on Sunday implored Americans to wear face masks, practice social distancing and stay away from senior citizens to protect them amid a new spike in coronavirus infections as the United States surpassed 2.5 million confirmed cases.

At an event in Dallas, Pence commended Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for his “decisive action” in reopening the state’s economy in early May. But with the state’s hospitals experiencing a surge in patients amid skyrocketing infection rates, Pence praised Abbott for scaling back some reopening measures, including ordering bars to close and restaurants to reduce occupancy.

The virus has killed more than 123,000 people in the United States, and U.S. cases make up by far the largest share of the worldwide caseload. In Texas, coronavirus-related hospitalizations reached a record high for the 16th day in a row on Saturday, with 5,523 patients being treated.

“It’s a good time to steer clear of senior citizens and to practice the kind of measures that will keep our most vulnerable safe,” Pence said at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he was joined by Abbott, White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

WashingtonPost.com, excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, June 29, 2020