What next for Pence? Vice President ‘heading to Florida on personal trip’ as Trump refuses to concede

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Vice President Mike Pence, who spent months on the campaign trail alongside his boss Donald Trump right up to the small hours of the morning after election day, now seems ready to take some time off. 

Mr Pence has kept a low profile since the results began turning against the Republican, and will now be heading to the holiday island of Sanibel, Florida on a “personal trip”, according to the Associated Press. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Mr Pence is expected to be in Florida until Saturday. His office has so far not issued any comments on his travel plans. 

The trip comes amid Mr Trump’s ongoing refusal to concede the election, several days after his Democratic rival Joe Biden was projected to be the new president-elect. The vice president’s public schedule also appeared to be empty, and has been clear since the day after the race was called for Mr Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris.

While Mr Pence has echoed the demands of the Trump campaign, that “every legal vote” should be counted, he has so far not made the same sweeping claims about alleged voter fraud. 

“Told @VP Team Today, ‘it ain’t over til it’s over.. and this AIN’T over!’ President @realDonaldTrump has never stopped fighting for us and we’re gonna Keep Fighting until every LEGAL vote is counted!” Mr Pence tweeted on Monday.

In fact, Mr Pence had not posted anything on his official Twitter handle since the race was called, until Monday when he broke his silence to take the credit for the new coronavirus vaccine. But that too backfired after Pfizer,  the company developing the vaccine, pointed out that the research and development of their vaccine had nothing to do with the government.  

Pfizer announced on Monday morning that their Covid-19 vaccine was 90 per cent effective in early trials.

“HUGE NEWS: Thanks to the public-private partnership forged by President @realDonaldTrump, @pfizer announced its Coronavirus Vaccine trial is EFFECTIVE, preventing infection in 90% of its volunteers,” tweeted Mr Pence.

Dr Kathrin Jansen, Pfizer’s head of vaccine development, told The New York Times: “We were never part of the Warp Speed (the government operation to fund vaccine research)… We have never taken any money from the US government, or from anyone.” The company later clarified that it has taken some advance orders from the government.

The vice-president may visit Georgia after his stay in Florida, according to The New York Times, to boost Senator David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler ahead of their January runoff elections.

Mr Pence’s Florida visit coincides with the passing of tropical storm Eta, which has led to some flooding in the south of the state. Sanibel was forecast to see wind and rain at least until Friday as a result.

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