Vice President Mike Pence, the leader of the administration’s coronavirus task force, dismissed health experts’ warnings about the worsening dynamics of COVID-19 cases and said the “panic” about the second wave was “overblown.”

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Pence claimed coronavirus cases have been declining and dismissed the predictions of a second wave while praising President Donald Trump‘s administration in handling the pandemic.

“Thanks to the leadership of President Trump and the courage and compassion of the American people, our public health system is far stronger than it was four months ago, and we are winning the fight against the invisible enemy,” Pence wrote.

Despite Pence’s efforts to downplay the still-existing threat of the pandemic, cases of coronavirus have been rising in 21 states. Arizona and Texas on Tuesday reported a record high in their daily numbers of new COVID-19 cases. There has been extensive evidence that the cases have been rising in the states, that lifted social distancing measures.

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“The media has tried to scare the American people every step of the way, and these grim predictions of a second wave are no different,” Pence wrote. “We’ve slowed the spread, we’ve cared for the most vulnerable, we’ve saved lives, and we’ve created a solid foundation for whatever challenges we may face in the future. That’s a cause for celebration, not the media’s fear mongering.”

A key model used by the White House, however, is now predicting more than 200,000 deaths by October.

As Trump campaign went ahead to organize a “MAGA” rally on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Pence also tried to downplay the coronavirus situation in the state, saying the curve has flattened.

“In a very real sense they’ve flattened the curve,” Pence said of Oklahoma. “The number of cases in Oklahoma has declined precipitously.”

Meanwhile, a record of 225 new cases were reported in Oklahoma on Saturday. With a decline to 158 cases on Sunday, there were 186 new confirmed cases again on Monday, according to Oklahoma’s State Department of Health.

“COVID is here in Tulsa, it is transmitting very efficiently,” Tulsa Health Department’s director Bruce Dart told the local newspaper, Tulsa World. “I wish we could postpone this to a time when the virus isn’t as large a concern as it is today.”

The rally will be held at Tulsa BOK Center, an indoor arena with an audience capacity of about 20,000.

Trump campaign’s website also featured a disclaimer, asking rallygoers to sign a waiver to agree that Trump and other campaign organizers won’t be held liable if attendees contract coronavirus at the event.

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