In photos snapped of Vice President Mike Pence visiting General Motors Thursday, he is now wearing a protective face mask. The new pictures stand in stark contrast to ones taken of him touring Mayo Clinic Tuesday with no face covering, in spite of a hospital policy requiring them, which generated a lot of criticism for the vice president.
Earlier in the day, his wife defended the Mayo Clinic incident during an interview on Fox News.
“First of all, it was a great visit to Mayo,” Karen Pence told “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt. “They are doing amazing research with the blood from recovering Covid-19 patients and as our medical experts have told us, wearing a mask prevents you from spreading the disease and knowing that he doesn’t have Covid-19, he didn’t wear one. It was actually after he left Mayo Clinic that he found out that they had a policy of asking everyone to wear a mask. So, you know, someone who’s worked on this whole task force for over two months is not someone who would have done anything to offend anyone or hurt anyone or scare anyone.”
anyways, pence wearing a mask at today's visit to gm pic.twitter.com/kmKMIfdzKQ
— Justin Sink (@justinsink) April 30, 2020
Her explanation doesn’t track with what Mayo Clinic said, nor with what the vice president himself said after the tour.
In a now-deleted tweet, Mayo said it had “informed @VP of the masking policy prior to his arrival” Tuesday. He later told reporters that he is tested regularly for coronavirus, as is everyone around him, and he wanted to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible health care personnel, and look them in the eye and say ‘thank you.’ ”
Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney — not often a critic of the current administration by any means — was one of those who criticized Pence Wednesday: “It does not help when public officials ignore their own rules like Vice President Mike Pence at the Mayo Clinic yesterday,” he told viewers. “He should have worn a mask. He didn’t. We should all obey the rules coming out this week.”