Vice President Mike Pence visits Baton Rouge to meet with state officials

Vice President Mike Pence visits Baton Rouge to meet with state officials
Vice President Mike Pence and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards at LSU's Tiger Stadium for round table discussion about education. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Vice President Mike Pence discussed re-opening schools and resuming sporting events in Baton Rouge Tuesday, July 14, as coronavirus cases continue to spike in Louisiana.

“Louisiana is demonstrating today that you can continue to open up your economy and make plans to open up your schools and do all the things that are necessary to protect the vulnerable and flatten the curve,” Pence said during a roundtable inside Tiger Stadium. LSU’s plan to resume education leans toward resuming classes online.

Pence threw his support behind Gov. John Bel Edwards’ decision to pause Louisiana’s plan to re-open its economy as it seeks to contain the virus’s spread.

“We’re going to make sure that the people of Louisiana and this team have what you need, when you need it. And we’re going to stay with you every step of the way,” said VP Mike Pence.

Vice President Pence landed at the Baton Rouge Airport at 11:15 a.m.

RAW: VP Pence arrives in Baton Rouge

The first stop was at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GHOSEP), which is located on Independence Blvd. He started with a brief press conference.

FIRST STOP: VP Pence speaks at Louisiana GHOSEP

After, he was given an update on the status of COVID-19 in Louisiana.

ONE-STOP-SHOP: Press conferences, stats, links related to COVID-19

“Because of the unprecedented national response marshaled by our president, because of the seamless partnership with your governor, because of your extraordinary support we’ve received from members of Congress, we have more resources today to deal with this pandemic than ever before,” said Pence.

The group then traveled to LSU. The motorcade went to the riverfront and passed by the newly erected Rotary Sculpture.

A round table discussion was held at Tiger Stadium on LSU’s campus. It was concerning reopening schools this Fall to in-person learning, something the Trump Administration is pushing for. LSU’s Coach O was there and gave remarks regarding the status of athletics for the fall.

Coach O speaks to VP Pence about higher education athletics

“As President Trump has made it clear, to open up America, we have to open up America’s schools. We believe it’s absolutely in the best interest of students academically and in terms of every aspect of their personal well being, to get kids back in the classroom in K-12, and get students back on campuses like LSU,” said Pence.

The mostly closed-door meeting lasted just over an hour. A press briefing was held after and remarks were provided by various members of the Coronavirus Task Force and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Tues. July 14: VP Pence, other officials discuss education in the fall

Coronavirus Task Force leaders also said that 17 Baton Rouge nursing homes will be able to conduct 20 tests every hour. Pence supported Edwards’ decision to keep the economy in Phase 2 for now and offered some support for the mask mandate.

“We don’t want to go backwards to Phase 1 or to Phase 0. So we can continue in Phase 2, but we are going to have to make sure that we wear the masks, that we social distance, that we limit our social gatherings in terms of the number of people. Ad if we will do that, we’re going to be successful. And we don’t have to go back, and we are going to open our schools and so forth,” said Governor Edwards.

Vice President Pence departed at 4:10 p.m. from the Baton Rouge Airport.

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