Pence refuses to wear face mask so he can look people 'in the eye'


Pence flagrantly ignored the rules when he visited the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Mike Pence did not wear a face mask on Tuesday when he visited the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, blatantly ignoring both the policy of the acclaimed medical center and the Trump administration's guidance, which says everyone should wear a mask when unable to socially distance while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing.

Pence is just the latest Trump administration official to ignore the rules every other American must follow amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Many Trump administration officials have been tested for the virus despite showing no symptoms, even as many Americans are denied them for the same reason. And first daughter Ivanka Trump traveled for personal reasons amid the pandemic, even though nonessential travel is not recommended.

Pence's excuse for not wearing a mask — despite the fact that the Mayo Clinic said it advised him of its policy before his arrival — was that he has tested negative for the virus.

"And since I don't have the coronavirus, I thought it'd be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible health care personnel, and look them in the eye and say thank you," Pence said.

Masks being used to protect people from coronavirus do not prevent making eye contact.

Pence's ignoring of the rules was made more obvious by the fact he was the only person in the large group to not don a face mask. Other Trump administration officials, including Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, all wore masks, as did Minnesota's Democratic Gov. Tim Walz.

After an outcry on social media about Pence's lack of a face mask, the Mayo Clinic tweeted that it "informed @VP of the masking policy prior to his arrival."

But that tweet was deleted and followed by a tweet saying that the medical center was "grateful" that Pence visited.

Democrats called out Pence's obvious disregard for the rules.

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) said Pence's excuse for not wearing a mask was "Almost Trump-like idiocy."

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) called Pence's decision not to wear a mask "selfish and dangerous."

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) tweeted, "This isn't difficult: If medical professionals tell you to wear a mask, you wear a mask."

And Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) tweeted, "Real leaders lead by example, but I'm not surprised Vice President Pence doesn’t know that."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.