In a private call on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence urged the nation’s governors to share misleading facts about the extent of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks in some states that are experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of infections, according to The New York Times, which obtained a tape of the conversation, and quoted Pence as saying:

“I would just encourage you all, as we talk about these things, to make sure and continue to explain to your citizens the magnitude of increase in testing. And that in most of the cases where we are seeing some marginal rise in number, that’s more resolved by the extraordinary work you’re doing.”

The Associated Press also got a copy of the tape and noted that the VP also encouraged the governors to with “proper gentleness and respect,” share the “progress that we are making.”

Pence’s comments are in line with remarks from President Donald Trump on Monday when he tried to argue that the only reason there are more coronavirus cases is because testing for the virus has ramped up:

“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.”

Actually, you would still have cases, they just wouldn’t be classified as instances of coronavirus.

At least 22 states are currently seeing a significant spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. Those include Arizona, Alabama, Florida, Oregon, and Utah.

On Saturday, the president will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a campaign rally that is expected to draw almost 20,000 people to an indoor arena. Even though the White House has repeatedly downplayed the danger of such gatherings, it is requiring that attendees sign waivers saying they won’t hold the Trump campaign liable if they contract coronavirus. Face masks will also be handed out to attendees despite Trump’s claims that there is little to no threat to the general public from the disease, which has already claimed the lives of over 118,000 Americans.

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