Second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PencePence says he should have worn mask during Mayo Clinic visitPence staff threatens action against reporter after tweet about VP without surgical mask12 things to know today about coronavirusMORE is urging visitors to return to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee as it prepares to reopen its trails this weekend. 

Pence spoke at the most-visited national park in the country along with Kate MacGregor, the deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior, on Tuesday, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. Pence encouraged hikers to take to the trails at the park, which shut down March 25 because of the coronavirus pandemic and partially reopened earlier this month.

Theres plenty of opportunity there to practice your social distancing. … So, were saying come, come to the park, she said.

We come to a place like this and we enjoy the warm sunshine on our faces or a soft mist like we do today … the sound of the wind, the sound of the rain on the tent, the trees overhead, the soft, earthy feel of the ground underneath our feet, Pence added, according to the newspaper. Not only are these experiences enjoyable to have, but they are good for us too.

The second lady said she got emotional speaking because she and Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSusan Rice calls for Flynn-Kislyak transcripts to be releasedPence says he’s not taking hydroxychloroquineWhite House, CDC rift spills into the openMORE raised their kids taking them to national parks.

But David Lamfrom, the southeast regional director for the National Parks Conservation Association, warned that Karen Pences visit downplays the risks of visiting a crowded park.

When people learn that the vice presidents wife visited the park, they may believe it is safe for them to visit over the long weekend. Its not, he said in a statement to The Hill, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions recommendations not to visit crowded parks and increasing coronavirus cases in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Before planning a trip to the park, we urge you to please consider your health, family, community and the well-being of the tireless National Park Service staff, he added, saying there is not enough personal protective equipment for staff. 

North Carolina reported its largest one-day increase in coronavirus cases on Saturday with 853 new cases. The state has confirmed 20,122 cases and 702 deaths, according to the state health department website. 

Tennessees coronavirus case count reached 18,378 on Tuesday, an increase of 367 cases the day before, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.