Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday toured the Mayo Clinic without wearing a mask, despite that renowned medical facility telling him that masks are required for visitors and everyone else there to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
At one point during his visit to the Mayo Clinic, video of Pence showed him surrounded by 10 people, including a patient, who unlike him all were wearing masks.
Pence, who leads President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, later suggested to reporters that he did not need to wear a mask because he is tested regularly for the virus, and does not have it.
The Mayo Clinic, which is located in Rochester, Minnesota, is requiring all patients, visitors and staff to wear a face covering or mask to slow the spread of Covid-19. The facility said that the mask requirement is part of its protocol “for ensuring your safety.”
The clinic said in a Twitter post that it had informed Pence of its policy mandating masks before he toured the facility.
About a half-hour after that tweet was posted, it was deleted by the Mayo Clinic.
People wearing masks greeted Pence at an airport, video shows.
The vice president was not wearing a mask when he got off his plane and headed to the Mayo Clinic, where he was greeted with applause and cheers by facility workers, most of whom were wearing masks.
While at the facility, Pence participated in a discussion with top doctors there, along with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a Republican whose district includes the city of Rochester.