Vice President Pence visits Walmart Distribution Center in Virginia

Vice President Mike Pence speaks in Louisa County.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks in Louisa County.(WVIR)
Updated: Apr. 1, 2020 at 2:55 PM EDT
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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Vice President Mike Pence visited the Walmart Distribution Center in Louisa County Wednesday, April 1.

Pence, along with the Secretary of Agriculture and Walmart's CEO toured distribution center 7016 near Zion Crossroads for about 90 minutes.

Supply stores like Walmart are considered essential and must remain open.

The distribution center is the hub where all the products come in and then are sent out on big rigs to regional stores for you to buy off the shelf.

"Thank you for doing a great job keeping food on the table for the American people," said Pence.

The Vice President spoke to workers at the facility and offered encouraging words to order pickers and truck drivers.

"You're burning those miles every day making sure the American people have food and supplies and what they need," Pence said. " America's food supply is strong. You and drivers like you all over the country are the reason why."

Bin Sam is an order picker at the distribution center.

He's been with the company for about 14 years.

“We’ve been shipping out almost breaking record amounts of volume in the past couple of weeks,” said Sam. "Just a monster amount of toilet paper and canned goods and stuff like that. So we really ship out based off what the store requires.”

Walmart distribution employees are working around the clock, some 10 or 11 hour work days to keep the supplies flowing.

It's something Pence is thankful for.

“From the field to the distribution center, to 18 wheels to grocery stores that will all stay open. America’s food supply is strong. You and drivers like you all over the country are the reason why,” said Pence.

Vice President Pence visits Virginia Walmart distribution center

Vice President Pence visits Virginia Walmart distribution center >>

Posted by NBC12 on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Meanwhile, The Democratic Party of Virginia is blasting the Vice President’s trip to Louisa County.

Here is the statement from the political organization:

Today, Mike Pence, the leader of President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, decided to waste valuable time and resources, ignore travel warnings, and put Virginians’ lives at risk when he flew to the Commonwealth with Sec. of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to stage a photo-op at a Walmart Distribution Center. This unnecessary visit diverted resources at a time when we’re already under-equipped in the fight against COVID-19. That Pence decided this was worth his time in the midst of a crisis is another example of his, and the administration’s, profound lack of sound judgment.

The Democratic Party of Virginia

The organization went on to list ways they claim the Trump administration continues “to endanger lives in Virginia and across the country, as the number of cases in the US approaches 200,000.” Read the claims here:

  • Donald Trump continues to deny the extensively documented ventilator shortage. When asked Friday if everyone who needs a ventilator will be able to get one, Trump got angry and obfuscated. “Don’t be a cutie pie,” he said to the reporter, and didn’t answer the question.
  • When Governor Andrew Cuomo, at the advice of experts, asked for a minimum of 30,000 ventilators in preparation of the climax of the outbreak, Trump scoffed, saying, “you go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators,” completely underestimating the scope of the problem.
  • After wasting valuable time by refusing to invoke the Defense Production Act, Trump finally ordered GM to produce ventilators under the statute, but because of delays, the company said shipments won’t be ready until mid-April.
  • The national shortage of supplies means hospital systems, the federal government, and states including Virginia are on the market bidding against each other for what supplies that are currently available. Governor Ralph Northam has called for a “national solution” to the shortage of protective equipment.
  • Meanwhile, health care workers are lamenting a shortage of supplies which have endangered their teams. A nurse in New York has died from coronavirus, and medical workers across the country are having to improvise.
  • In another example of his usual spread of misinformation, Trump incorrectly said the FDA has approved a drug for treatment of COVID-19, which the FDA said was not true. Trump’s claims during a briefing that the drug is a “game changer” had to be corrected by Dr. Anthony Fauci in the same briefing.
  • Trump squandered critical time available to distribute essential personal protective equipment (PPE), tests, and other supplies. While Trump promised for weeks to provide states with these critical medical supplies, states have not received much or any of what Trump promised and it is unclear when critical supplies will arrive.

Read more coronavirus coverage from NBC12 here.

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