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Vice President Mike Pence pushed back against CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer’s statement Wednesday that President Trump downplayed the coronavirus threat and defended the administration against claims it didn’t do enough to prepare for the pandemic.

“It would have been good if the president wouldn’t have been belittling the enormity of this crisis, the coronavirus pandemic, as he was. Now he’s finally on board,” Blitzer said to Pence on Wednesday. He added that not all of the country was “on the same page” and asked why the administration wouldn’t issue a national stay-at-home order.

Editor’s Note: I don’t know, Wolf. Maybe it had something to do with that whole United States Constitution thing.

“Well, Wolf, respectfully I’d take issue with two things that you just said,” Pence replied. “I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.”

Blitzer attempted to interrupt repeatedly, but Pence continued answering. “I think he’s expressed gratitude and confidence in health care workers in this country.”

“The American people can be assured,” Pence added, “President Trump is going to continue to be confident that we will meet this moment.”

“He was saying at one point it wasn’t as bad as the regular flu, and he was talking about automobile accidents,” Blitzer said. “He seemed to be suggesting at one point there were 15 cases [and] it would get down to zero very quickly. That’s what I was basing that sentence on but go ahead and make your point.”

Pence responded by saying Trump was an “optimistic person.”

“From the very beginning, we suspended all travel from China,” Pence added, “and stood up the White House coronavirus task force in January. We have been hoping for the best, but planning for the worst.”

WIBC host Tony Katz commented on the President’s exchange with Blitzer in Thursday’s edition of the Popcorn Moment.

Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / Contributor / Getty Images