Remove Vice President Pence as the lead on the US coronavirus response

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On 26 February 2020 US President Donald J. Trump named Vice President Mike Pence to lead the US response to the deadly coronavirus, COVID-19.  As of the evening of 26 February, there had been over 81,000 cases worldwide with 2400 deaths. 

To name Vice President Pence to lead the US response suggests a lack of seriousness in the administration's handling of this looming crisis.  Pence has a history of rejecting science while Governor of Indiana. In 2015 he was responsible for the exacerbation of an outbreak of 200 cases of HIV in a small rural county.  Local health officials requested a temporary needle exchange program as the cases were related to IV drug abuse and the sharing of needles.  Pence delayed for months due to his values not aligning with a policy of needle exchange, resulting in the outbreak.  In 2000, he wrote in a Op-Ed that "smoking doesn't kill". He has repeatedly denied the overwhelming science that climate change is real and is caused, in part, by human activity.

With such a dubious record in the area of public health, a lack of understanding of basic science, and zero experience in disaster management, it is clear that Vice President Pence is uniquely unqualified for this important position. It would be more appropriate that an individual with experience in disaster management and/or public health be tasked to lead the US response to this emerging public health emergency.