GREENSBURG, Pa. — Channel 11′s Aaron Martin had a one-on-one interview with Vice President Mike Pence, who was in western Pennsylvania on Thursday for two campaign stops.
Pence talked about several topics including mail-in voting, President Donald Trump suggesting delaying the election and backlogs in coronavirus testing.
“The principle of one person, one vote is at the very heart of our democracy. President Trump and our administration are going to stand strong for integrity in our elections,” Pence said.
Martin then pressed Pence about mail-in voting, following a tweet by President Trump suggesting that the election postponed because of a chance of voter fraud.
Trump asked, “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
Only Congress can change the date of the election.
Martin questioned whether Pence was worried about the legitimacy of the election in Pennsylvania since it will be the first with mail-in balloting.
“We just have to stand strong against the kind of mail-in voting that’s being advocated across the country,” Pence replied.
That case is still making its way through federal court.
Pennsylvania is one of more than 30 states that will allow no-excuse absentee voting for the November election.
“We’re seeing the kind of mail-in voting proposed and recommended that we think would undermine the integrity of our elections. You’re going to hear the president and our administration stand strong to protect the right to vote,” Pence said.
A spokesperson for the Allegheny County Elections Division said all voters will receive applications to vote by mail but not actual ballots.
Martin also asked Pence, who is the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, about testing delays and whether the federal government needs to do more to reduce them.
“We’re going to work tirelessly to make sure that every American has access to the testing that they need and that they get that result quicker and quicker,” he said.
Despite his optimism, so far, that hasn’t happened.
Quest Diagnostics is reporting turnaround times of at least a week for lower priority patients. Labcorp reports three to five days.
Pence said he’s hopeful the development of better tests will help reverse that trend.
“Even through this week, we are continuing to work with our commercial laboratories, with hospitals, with companies that are making point of care tests that will turn around a test in 15 minutes to close the time of turnaround,” Pence said.
The vice president said he is hopeful about the progress of developing a coronavirus vaccine.
“The most exciting news for Americans is in record time, we began with several companies the first phase three clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine in the United States,” he told Channel 11.
Some of those clinical trials will be conducted at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has said getting a vaccine developed by the end of the year is not out of the question.