(JANESVILLE, WI) — Ahead of Mike Pence’s visit to Wisconsin, Congressman Mark Pocan and State Rep. Debra Kolste of Janesville condemned Trump for his utter failure to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both leaders highlighted how insulting it is for Pence to visit an area that has seen infections and economic turmoil because of Trump’s failed public health response.

Pence’s visit also comes on the heels of Janesville moving many of their K-12 students to a fully online education model due to the spike in infections.

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CBS 58: Biden, Wisconsin Democrats respond to Pence’s Janesville visit

  • Biden’s campaign focused on the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response when responding to Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Janesville.
  • “President Trump admitted he intentionally downplayed the virus and misled the American people, and Wisconsin continues to pay the price — in lost jobs, lost businesses, and lost lives,” the campaign said in a statement.
  • Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI, held a press call Monday responding to the visit. Pocan said the White House has not given states or hospitals enough support to fight COVID-19.
  • “He’s telling states that we’re largely on our own, and he’s also telling us that the virus is in its final stages and that we’re near the end of the pandemic,” Pocan said.
  • Pocan and Wisconsin State Rep. Debra Kolste, D-Janesville, said if the Trump administration had taken the virus more seriously to start, Wisconsin would be in better shape economically and from a public health standpoint..
  • “Pence comes here and flaunts their recognition that they think they’ve handled this is just, it’s an atrocity,” Kolste said. “If they had been honest in the first place, we could have stopped this.”
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CBS 58:


During an online press conference prior to Pence’s visit, Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan and state Rep. Deb Kolste, D-Janesville, blasted the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic… Kolste, the state democrat who represents the city where Pence gave his speech, blamed the Trump administration for damaging the economy as businesses closed or scaled back operations because of the pandemic. “We could have taken care of this. We didn’t have to shut down all the businesses if we had just been told the truth from the beginning,” Kolste said, referencing claims that Trump downplayed the severity of the virus in the early stages of the pandemic.

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