Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday that he believes the coronavirus pandemic will be under control by Memorial Day weekend at the end of May.
Speaking to Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera on his radio show, Pence, who is chair of the White House coronavirus task force, was optimistic about some states being able to reopen by the holiday.
“Am I going to be on my boat and fishing in early June, Mr. Vice President?” Rivera asked.
“If you look at the trends today, I think by Memorial Day Weekend we will largely have this coronavirus epidemic behind us,” said Pence. “State and local officials will begin to reopen activities, you’re going to see states ahead here begin to do that.”
In Georgia, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp plans to reopen some businesses, including gyms, barbershops and nail salons, on Friday — though the administration disagrees with their rush to do so. President Trump said that the reopening is a “violation of the Phase I guidelines” that the administration has put out.
The White House is pushing for states to abide by a three-part plan to reopen, which they would like to begin when the state has 14 days of declining new infections.
Earlier on Thursday, Pence said that sixteen states have unveiled formal plans to lift their coronavirus restrictions.
“At the present moment, 16 states have released formal reopening plans,” Pence said during the a White House press briefing. “States are beginning to make those plans and we’re encouraged to see so many states embracing the phased approach to reopening their economies that’s contemplated in our guidelines for opening up America again.”