The View co-host Meghan McCain on Thursday blasted President Donald Trump’s decision to name Vice President Mike Pence as the administration’s coronavirus response czar, specifically highlighting Pence’s terrible record of handling an HIV outbreak as Indiana governor.
During a Wednesday evening presser, amid growing threats of a worldwide pandemic, the president said that Pence has a “certain talent” for handling situations like health outbreaks, despite Pence’s anti-science history—including his infamous claim that smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer.
McCain, who constantly touts her conservative bonafides on The View, reacted to Trump’s announcement by taking issue with right-wing veep’s history in Indiana.
“In all seriousness, Mike Pence has a really bad record when it comes to health records,” McCain said. “In Indiana, he actually hurt HIV patients because he halted needle exchanges.”
“And it really impacted HIV outbreaks in Indiana, so I think for that reason alone, I think it’s really simple,” she continued. “Someone with a medical and, you know, virus background should be in charge of a potentially deadly and lethal virus and medical outbreak in the United States of America. Doesn’t seem like that much of a leap for me. I don’t think—I’m not comfortable with him in charge.”
This prompted the rest of the table to predictably pile on the veep and Trump administration for seemingly not taking the health crisis seriously, with liberal co-host Joy Behar referencing his past assertions on smoking, and co-host Sunny Hostin noting that the veep called global warming a “myth.”
Whoopi Goldberg, meanwhile, speculated that the president named Pence to lead the outbreak response because Trump is “setting him up” since he knows “there’s a cliff coming,” something Hostin and Behar agreed with.
McCain, however, said she didn’t like “politicizing” this and even went so far as to chastise someone in the audience apparently clapping that this could be bad news for the president. At the same time, she said, “people are scared and it’s OK to be scared because there’s a lot of misinformation out there.”
Later on in the segment, McCain also told the audience that it was OK to have a “healthy sense of fear,” noting that other first-world countries were initiating quarantines and closing down schools.
“So I think telling everyone—the problem with Trump is, he’s like, ‘It’s fine! It’s fine!’—it’s like, they’re quarantining their kids,” she concluded.
McCain’s criticism of the appointment of Pence to handle America’s response to the coronavirus outbreak saw her finding rare common ground with progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who she recently tangled with on The View.
“Mike Pence literally does not believe in science,” the New York congresswoman tweeted on Wednesday night. “It is utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response as the world sits on the cusp of a pandemic. This decision could cost people their lives. Pence’s past decisions already have.”