Mike Pence wears mask on factory visit following outrage over Mayo Clinic appearance

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Vice president insisted he has not contracted Covid-19

World | The Independent

Mike Pence wore a face mask on a visit to a General Motors plant, a day after being criticised for not wearing one at the Mayo Clinic.

The vice president wore the mask during his tour of a General Motors plant in Indiana, that is producing ventilators that will be used to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The plant requires all staff and visitors to wear medical grade protective masks, when inside the facility.

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Mr Pence, who is leading the White House’s coronavirus task force, was filmed thanking staff at the plant, who have produced over 600 ventilators so far, according to MSNBC.

“I just wanted to thank you,” he told the staff. “It’s an honour to be among the heroes in the Hoosier State.”

Despite wearing the face mask on the plant floor, during a table discussion, he and everyone else involved took their masks off, according to the outlet.

The vice president was criticised on Wednesday for not wearing a face mask at the Mayo Clinic, despite the hospital claiming they warned him prior to the visit that wearing one is a requirement at the facility.

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The vice president’s wife, Karen Pence defended her husband and said that he didn’t know about the requirement before his visit, during an appearance on Fox and Friends.

“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,” she said.

Ms Pence added that it “was actually after he left Mayo Clinic that he found out that they had a policy of asking everyone to wear a mask.”

In a statement, the clinic contradicted Ms Pence’s claims, and said: “Mayo shared the masking policy with the VP’s office.”

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Similarly to Ms Pence, the vice president told reporters after the visit to the clinic, that because he has tested negative for the virus, he does not need to wear a face mask.

“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,” he added.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now upwards of one million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 61,288.

The Independent has reached out to Mr Pence’s team for comment.

  • Mike Pence wears mask on factory visit following outrage over Mayo Clinic appearance photo

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