Pence was originally scheduled to visit the state on Tuesday, but went on Wednesday instead so that other, healthier Secret Service agents could accompany him.
An unnamed official with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post that the agency urged the vice president to delay his trip on Monday night. Eight to 10 people from sister agencies who were also helping to prepare for the trip displayed signs of the illness, as well, according to the Post.
Pence was previously forced to cancel campaign events in Arizona and Florida due to the threat of the virus.
An official told The New York Times that the agents’ illness was among several factors to play a part in delaying the trip.
But it is at least the second time in recent weeks that the Secret Service has been impacted by the coronavirus crisis. In late June, after President Donald Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally, dozens of agents were instructed to quarantine themselves because two had tested positive for the virus.
Arizona is among several states that have seen an alarming surge in COVID-19 infections over the past month. Currently, Arizona has had more than 87,000 reported cases with only around 10,000 recoveries ― a figure that indicates the number still battling the virus. More than 1,700 people have died of the coronavirus in the state.
During his visit, Pence praised the state’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey.
“Up until roughly three weeks ago, Arizona had literally set the pace in slowing the spread, in flattening the curve,” Pence said while pledging resources to the state.
Trump has continually sought to downplay the threat of the virus, saying Thursday morning that he would like to see churches “open quickly.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. passed another grim milestone on Thursday ― soaring past 55,000 new coronavirus cases reported in a single day.
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