VP Mike Pence says he’ll be in Texas on Sunday to ‘get a ground report’ on COVID-19


Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies before a House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KXAN) — Vice President Mike Pence said during a White House coronavirus task force briefing Friday he’ll make a trip to Texas on Sunday to “get a ground report” of the resurgence of COVID-19.

“We believe we’ve made progress,” Pence said. “But as we see cases rising across the South, we’ve still got work to do.”

Positive cases in Texas have surged the past two weeks, and a record amount of cases are being reported every day. On Thursday, nearly 6,000 positive cases were reported in Texas, which pushed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to halt further capacity increases and reopening measures until the state “corrals” the virus.

Dr. Deborah Birx included Austin in a group of metro areas that she categorized as “concerning,” and Austin has the highest positivity rate over the past seven days in the country, she said.

She said while testing has increased, she was most concerned by the rise in positivity rates in Texas.

It’s not just Texas that has turned into a virus hotspot. Cases in Arizona are also surging, and that caused Gov. Doug Ducey to backpedal on further reopening the state’s economy.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut recently implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for anyone traveling into those states from another state deemed a hotspot, with Texas included.

We will stream the press conference live on KXAN.com and our Facebook page.

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