In an op-ed to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence countered reports of a “second wave” of coronavirus in the U.S., touting strong testing rates and healthcare capacity.

“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.

Hot spots throughout the U.S. lift overall case numbers, and San Luis Obispo County was no exception. A graduation party in Atascadero spread COVID-19 among several close family members — part of a four-day surge of 32 new cases.

However, as SLO County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein related since the first weeks of testing began, the concerns rest with hospitalizations, ICU numbers, PPE supplies, and overall healthcare capacity.

Pence continued in applauding the capacity of the system and the actions of his direct report, before pivoting to the people of the nation.

“But our greatest strength is the resilience of the American people. From the outset of this pandemic, the American people have stepped up and made great personal sacrifices to protect the health and safety of our nation. And it’s because of their embrace of social-distancing guidelines that all 50 states have begun to reopen in a safe and responsible manner,” Pence wrote.

As a local family suffers through a current outbreak of COVID-19, expressing on social media that it “is real,” much of the country is enjoying a break from three months of sheltering. News from leaders at every level is that the reopening will continue with a guarded caution.

Some local news outlets have ceased producing a daily tally unless the increased numbers become newsworthy, and the County has stopped reporting new information over the weekend.

It’s been an exhausting spring for the millions of U.S. residents in taking on a little-known virus.

“We’ve slowed the spread, we’ve cared for the most vulnerable, we’ve saved lives,” Pence wrote, “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.”

Read Full Op-Ed at the WSJ.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles