Mike Pence admits he should have worn a mask during Mayo Clinic visit

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Vice President Mike Pence has admitted that he should have worn a mask during his visit to the Mayo Clinic — a mea culpa that came amid a backlash for violating the hospital’s coronavirus rules.

“I didn’t think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic and I wore it when I visited the ventilator plant in Indiana” two days later, Pence said during a Fox News virtual town hall Sunday night.

Photos and videos of Pence’s tour showed him bare-faced as he met with the staff of the Minnesota clinic and at least one patient.

Everyone else in the footage had a protective face covering on, in accordance with the policy established April 13 for “all patients and visitors to wear a face covering or mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Pence was informed of the rules before he visited, the clinic said on Twitter, in a post that was deleted about a half-hour later, according to the Guardian.

“Mayo Clinic had informed @VP of the masking policy prior to his arrival today,” it had written.

Mike Pence at the Mayo Clinic
Vice President Mike Pence at the Mayo ClinicAP

Pence has said he didn’t believe he had to wear one since he is constantly tested for the coronavirus and since the mask prevents people from transmitting the bug.

His wife, Karen Pence, has defended him, saying he was unaware of the clinic’s rule.

But a Mayo Clinic rep told Politico that Pence and his entourage had been briefed about the mask policy prior to their arrival.

“It really is a statement about the American people, the way people have been willing to step forward, practice social distancing, wear masks in settings where they can’t do that,” Pence said Sunday.

“As we continue to practice those principles, all of us together, I know we’ll get through this,” he added.

Filed under 5/4/20