Baker Tells Pence; White House COVID-19 Task Force Has Been "Supportive"

NANTUCKET, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Vice President Mike Pence met briefly with Gov. Charlie Baker on Nantucket Island Saturday to discuss the response to COVID-19, before he headlined a fundraiser for President Trump's re-election campaign.

Pence, who leads the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, spoke with Gov. Baker and Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump Administration's testing czar, at Nantucket Memorial Airport, according to The Inquirer and Mirror.

"You were able to slow the spread," Pence told Baker. "You flattened the curve."

The Vice President also thanked Baker for his "strong and steady leadership" throughout the pandemic, and said the federal government is with the people of Massachusetts.

"We’re going to stay with you, every step of the way, to make sure that you have the supplies to do the testing, the resources, the personal protective equipment for your health care workers, and the medicines for those that are struggling with coronavirus, until we reach that day that we have a vaccine for the American people, which we’re literally working around the clock to achieve," said Pence.

Gov. Baker, a Republican who did not vote for Trump in 2016, has previously met with Pence and many other members of the Trump Administration several times on issues of importance to the state.

Early in the pandemic, Baker was critical of the Trump Administration for outbidding states like Massachusetts on personal protective equipment, and again after a shipment of the state's PPE went missing.

During the meeting with Pence on Saturday, Baker praised the White House Coronavirus Task Force for being "enormously helpful" during the pandemic, the Inquirer and Mirror reports.

"In many areas, particularly with respect to some of the challenges that states face across the country, with regard to our testing, protocols and policies, and the work that we’re all doing to contain the virus, the work that’s been done by the Task Force has been enormously helpful and supportive,” said Baker.

According to NBC, Pence also addressed Baker's recent concerns over President Trump's threat to cut federal funding if schools don't reopen in the fall.

"Our commitment to you, Governor, is we're gonna make sure that the state of Massachusetts has the resources to be able to safely reopen your schools as soon as that is possible," Pence said.

As the Inquirer and Mirror reports, Baker did not attend the $25,000 per-person fundraiser with Pence, which was held at the home of Robert Reynolds, CEO of Putnam Investments, and was expected to raise $1 million for Trump and Pence’s re-election campaign.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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