VP Mike Pence talks about law and order, coronavirus during stops in western Pa.

Vice President Mike Pence talks to Channel 11 about Pittsburgh protests

FREEDOM, Pa. — Vice President Mike Pence was in western Pennsylvania for two events Wednesday.

Pence’s first stop was in Westmoreland County at Cornerstone Ministries in Murrysville, where he participated in a roundtable discussion on his and President Donald Trump’s anti-abortion agenda.

The vice president’s next stop was in Beaver County at 3 p.m. He attended a “Workers for Trump” rally at PennEnergy Resources in Freedom focused on fracking and energy.

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Hundreds of people sat outside for hours to hear Pence address the crowd for about 30 minutes.

Part of the focus of Pence’s rally was clear from the sign that hung directly over his head: “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

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At one point, the vice president criticized Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden on comments Pence claimed Biden made about ending fracking. Pence said under another Trump presidency, that won’t happen.

He also touted the job creation that he said the Trump administration is responsible for.

Moments after the “Workers for Trump” rally ended in Freedom, Channel 11 spoke one-on-one with the vice president about his thoughts on some hot-button issues.

Pence said regarding the protesters caught on video harassing outdoor diners in downtown Pittsburgh, he and Trump have provided more resources to see protesters like those prosecuted.

Pence said: “The American people want law and order. Whether it be the violent protests or the rioting we have seen in cities around the country, the destruction of property — claiming lives, injuring law enforcement officers, of the harassment that you saw at an outdoor restaurant and at a McDonald’s run by an African American manager — all of this has just got to stop.” He added, “And that is why the president and I have worked throughout the course of this administration by providing more resources for law enforcement, and we will continue to do that.”

It’s important to note that a recent report conducted by the U.S. Crisis Project found 93% of protests nationwide this summer were peaceful.

We also asked the vice president about the progress of “Operation Warp Speed” — the effort to create millions of effective doses of a COVID-19 vaccine — and whether the recent measure taken by drugmaker AstraZeneca to pause its vaccine trial is a setback for the administration.

Pence said he and the president are confident through feedback from their scientists that a vaccine is close to being a reality.

“President Trump and I believe on the best counsel of our scientist — that we will have a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine before the end of this year. The action by that company was just an out of an abundance of caution, but we actually have three companies that are already in phase 3 clinical trials,” Pence said.

But there has been some skepticism from top Democrats, Trump’s opponent Biden and Biden’s running mate Sen. Kamala Harris. On Sunday, Harris told CNN that she does not trust the president and that scientists would not have the last word on whether a potential vaccine is safe because the president is only focused on getting reelected.

“Look, the American people see through this. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris shouldn’t be playing politics with the coronavirus vaccine. They shouldn’t be playing politics with American lives,” Pence said.

One-on-one interview with Vice President Mike Pence