Donald Trump has selected infamous science-sceptic Mike Pence to lead the United States response to the coronavirus as the outbreak spreads around the world.

The president announced this news during a confusing press conference on Wednesday, stating:

Mike will be working with the professionals, doctors and everybody else that is working. The team is brilliant. I spent a lot of time with the team the last couple weeks but they are brilliant and we're doing really well and Mike is going to be in charge and Mike will report back to me. But he has a certain talent for this.

In most cases appointing the vice president to oversee an important task like this wouldn't raise eyebrows but then again this is Mike Pence, who has a long-running problem with science.

To give a few examples, the evangelical Christian once said that 'smoking doesn't kill', denied the theory of evolution and said that climate change is 'just an issue for the left'.

Given the overwhelming evidence that Pence clearly has no interest or belief in science, him being placed in charge of tackling a virus which has already killed 3,000 people has not been greeted with a wave of enthusiasm.

While he was the governor of Indiana, Pence slashed public spending on health services which led to the worst outbreak of HIV in the state's history and once said that those with Aids should be treated with 'conversion therapy'. People haven't forgotten that.

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were equally unimpressed with Trump's decision.

At least Trevor Noah could make a joke about it.


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