What does Mike Pence think he’s doing?

On Monday we all learned that Mike Pence used a conference call with the governors to try to convince them to lie about the nature of the new explosion in coronavirus cases. At the time, Palmer Report noted that Pence was awfully flagrant about it, and that he should have known some of the governors would go running to the media. Now we know why he didn’t care: he’s going full conspiracy theorist about it.

On Tuesday, Mike Pence published a lengthy and bizarre op-ed on the official White House website, spelling out why the coronavirus crisis is indeed supposedly over. Nevermind that several states are now setting records for the number of new coronavirus cases per day. It’s all a trick, Pence says. It’s not really happening. If we would just stop doing so darned much testing, it would all go away.

That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? As we’ve often noted, Mike Pence is every bit as dishonest, extreme, and deranged as Donald Trump – he’s just a lot more subtle and soft spoken about it. But now Pence is outright marrying himself to the notion that the pandemic is somehow magically over, and that everyone should just ignore all the people getting sick around them. Pence is arguably taking this deadly lie even further, and certainly doing so with greater specificity, than Trump is.

So what gives? Perhaps Mike Pence has concluded that if he and Trump can’t sell America on the idea that the worsening pandemic doesn’t exist, the economy won’t bounce back, and their faint hope of reelection will disappear entirely. Maybe Trump is blackmailing Pence into doing it. There are various plausible explanations. But whatever the reason, Pence is now all but asking to be personally blamed for any coronavirus deaths going forward. Something is weird about this. Keep an eye on Pence’s behavior going forward.

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