Pence wears no mask at COVID-19 clinic

Original story 28 April 2020

Vice President Mike Pence refused to wear a mask on Tuesday as he toured the Mayo Clinic and met with hospital staff and a patient, rejecting the famed hospital’s policy that all visitors cover their faces to reduce Covid-19 risks.

Pence last week made plans to visit the Rochester, Minn., institution after it announced a coronavirus testing “moonshot” to combat the current outbreak. His decision not to wear a mask — even as he was surrounded by others who followed the policy — was widely condemned on social media, including by public health experts, on Tuesday afternoon.

Pence told reporters after the visit that he believed that he was following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and he asserted that he was not infected by Covid-19.

“As vice president of the United States, I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus,” Pence said, according to a pool report.

However, the CDC has recommended that all Americans wear cloth face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures may be difficult to maintain. Photos and video of Pence’s visit to Mayo Clinic show him in close conversation with other individuals.

Scientists also have stressed that Covid-19 tests may produce incorrect results and that it is possible to carry the virus and not know it.

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