'America has never been more prepared to combat this virus'

Vice President Mike Pence offers positive outlook on COVID-19, says Trump administration does not support another lockdown.

Ben Ariel ,

Mike Pence
Mike Pence

US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday offered an upbeat assessment on the coronavirus pandemic in the US.

In a briefing of the coronavirus task force, Pence said America “has never been more prepared to combat this virus than we are today.”

He added that the Trump administration does not support another lockdown or school closures to stem the spread of the virus.

“I’ll say again, no national shutdown. No national shutdown, because every region, every area, every community can be different,” the Vice President said.

Earlier, US President-elect Joe Biden held a press conference after speaking virtually with governors on the fight against the coronavirus.

In his remarks, Biden warned that the US could reach 400,000 coronavirus deaths by early February "if nothing fundamentally changes" in the pandemic response.

"There is no excuse not to share the data and let us begin to plan," he added, in remarks critical of President Donald Trump’s refusal to cooperate with the transfer of power.

On Wednesday, the United States recorded a quarter-million COVID-19 deaths, the latest NBC News numbers showed.

The death rate has been accelerating in recent weeks as cases have been surging across the country. The 250,000th death was logged Wednesday morning, the data revealed.