Vice President Mike Pence went on Rush Limbaugh's radio show on Friday to assure Americans that threat posed by the coronavirus in the United States is "low" but "we're ready for whatever may come."
Limbaugh, who has vigorously defended the administration's handling of the crisis, has previously compared the coronavirus to "the common cold" and complained that concerns about an outbreak in the U.S. were being "weaponized" by Democrats and the media.
Pence, who has been placed in charge of the administration's response by President Donald Trump, preached unity and caution in his remarks on the right-wing talk show host's program.
"We're all in this together," he told Limbaugh, noting that he'd already spoken to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in addition to the Democratic governors of their states.
"I mean, we're all going to come together as Americans and deal with this issue and put the health and safety of the American people first," said Pence, who also repeatedly praised Trump's leadership of the response effort.
"I think our team has done a very strong job," Pence said. "We're going to follow the facts, follow the science and tune out the politics."
Limbaugh said on his show earlier this week that the reporting on the coronavirus was being overhyped by Democrats and the media in an effort to hurt the president.
"The coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump," he said Wednesday. "I want to to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. The coronavirus is the common cold."
The media, Limbaugh said, "would love for the coronavirus to be this deadly strain that wipes everybody out, so they could blame Trump for it."
The outbreak has spread from China to at least 40 countries around the world, including the U.S.