Vice President Mike Pence held a press briefing Friday as coronavirus cases surged across the country with a new daily record of 39,972 reported June 25.

During the briefing – which President Donald Trump didn’t attend – Pence tried to claim that despite the new record and increasing number of cases across the country, this time is different from two months ago.

“As we see new cases rising — and we’re tracking them very carefully – there may be a tendency among the American people to think that we are back to that place that we were two months ago. That we’re in a time of great losses and great hardship on the American people. The reality is we’re in a much better place,” he said.

More than half of the states are experiencing a surge in the rate of new cases. Southern states like Texas and Florida saw the highest increases.

Pence blamed increased testing for the increase in new cases.

“To one extent or another, the volume of new cases coming in is a reflection of great success in expanding testing across the country,” Pence said.

As CDC and medical experts advise Americans to keep up social distancing and wearing masks, Pence claimed that these decisions are personal choices.

“I think it’s really important that we recognize how important freedom and personal responsibility are to this entire equation,” he said.

CORONAVIRUS FAQ: WIKI OF MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS