Coronavirus: Mike Pence refuses to wear face mask on medical facility visit

29 April 2020, 08:40

Mike Pence tours medical clinic without a face mask

By Maddie Goodfellow

US Vice President Mike Pence has been criticised after being pictured at a medical facility not wearing a face mask.

His actions went directly against the facility's own policy on masks, as well as advice from the US government's body for disease control.

Mr Pence was the only person pictured not wearing a mask during the tour of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Follow our coronavirus liveblog here

He was pictured meeting staff members, including one who is still recovering from coronavirus, at the virus research facility.

He was also pictured maskless in a lab where tests on the virus are undertaken.

The Vice President was pictured without a face mask
The Vice President was pictured without a face mask. Picture: PA
Mike Pence visited the labs during his visit
Mike Pence visited the labs during his visit. Picture: PA

However, Mr Pence insisted that he did not need to wear a mask as he and his staff are tested regularly for the virus and he has come back negative.

On its website, the clinic states: "Part of our protocol for ensuring your safety is to require all patients, visitors and staff to wear a face-covering or mask while at Mayo Clinic to guard against transmission of COVID-19."

In a now-deleted tweet, the clinic said: “Mayo Clinic had informed @VP of the masking policy prior to his arrival today,”.

It was deleted after about 30 minutes.

The Vice President met with staff at the Mayo Clinic
The Vice President met with staff at the Mayo Clinic. Picture: PA

Donald Trump: US government doing a great job handling coronavirus crisis

Vice president Pence defended his decision not to wear a mask by saying he was regularly tested for the virus.

"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," he said.

"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 healthcare personnel, and look them in the eye and say 'thank you'."

Mr Pence can clearly be seen without a mask
Mr Pence can clearly be seen without a mask. Picture: PA
Mike Pence's superior Donald Trump has also said he wouldn't wear a mask
Mike Pence's superior Donald Trump has also said he wouldn't wear a mask. Picture: PA

His statement comes after President Donald Trump said he doubted he would wear a mask at any point during the pandemic.

"Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens - I just don't see it," he said.

On Tuesday, the US reached more than one million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, including more than 58,000 deaths.

The total number of Covid-19 infections in the US now stands at 1,002,498, comfortably making it the epicentre of the outbreak.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

India Election Narendra Modi

India starts voting as Narendra Modi seeks third term as prime minister

Rishi Sunak is to call for an end to the "sick note culture".

End of the 'sick note': Rishi Sunak to stop GPs signing people off work in welfare scheme overhaul

Andrew Malkinson

'Too little, too late': Andrew Malkinson rejects Criminal Cases Review Commission's apology after being wrongly jailed

Argentina NATO

Argentina asks to join Nato as President Milei seeks more prominent role

An officer threatened to arrest the man for 'breaching the peace'

Shocking moment Met police officer threatens to arrest man for being 'quite openly Jewish' at pro-Palestine march

Israel Palestinians UN Security Council

US vetoes widely supported UN resolution backing full membership for Palestine

Trump Hush Money

Twelve jurors confirmed for Trump hush money trial

Exclusive
Jonathan Hall KC admitted refugees have previously been let into the UK without the full checks.

Refugees have been admitted to UK ‘without proper checks’ as Border Force is 'too overwhelmed’, terror watchdog says

Jeremy Clarkson was seen comforting his girlfriend, Lisa Hogan, after tragedy stuck Diddly Squat Farm when two piglets died in an emotional scene captured on an episode of Clarkson's Farm

Jeremy Clarkson comforts sobbing girlfriend after tragedy strikes Diddly Squat Farm in new series

Lord Nick Houghton speaks to LBC’s Andrew Marr.

Ukraine 'is fighting proxy war on behalf of Nato', says ex-military chief as he criticises 'incoherent' defence spending

Peter Murrell has been charged in connection with the embezzlement of funds from the Scottish National Party.

Nicola Sturgeon's husband Peter Murrell charged in connection with embezzlement of funds from SNP

Kenya’s military chief General Francis Ogolla

Kenya’s military chief dies in helicopter crash

Sydney Sweeney hit back at the comments about her.

Sydney Sweeney hits back at 'sad and shameful' producer who said she ‘can’t act’ and ‘isn’t pretty’

Exclusive
Jonathan Hall has hit out at WhatsApp over the lowering of the age limit.

UK’s terror watchdog hits out at WhatsApp over lowering of age limit as he says more kids are being radicalised online

Lost Star Trek Model

Long-lost first model of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise finally returned home

Comedy writer Graham Linehan took to X, formerly known as Twitter, said that while plans for the "surefire hit" were underway, "trans activists were busy trying to destroy [his] life."

Graham Linehan rages at trans activists busy trying to 'destroy' his life as he teases Father Ted musical in works