Coronavirus
Coronavirus Information Center
Severe weather outlook South Dakota

Pence comes under fire for going maskless at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota

COVID-19

Vice President Mike Pence, center, visits Dennis Nelson, a patient who survived the coronavirus and was going to give blood, during a tour of the Mayo Clinic Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Rochester, Minn., as he toured the facilities supporting COVID-19 research and treatment. Pence chose not to wear a face mask while touring the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. It’s an apparent violation of the world-renowned medical center’s policy requiring them. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence chose not to wear a face mask Tuesday during a tour of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, an apparent violation of the world-renowned medical center’s policy requiring them.

Video feeds show that Pence did not wear a mask when he met with a Mayo employee who has recovered from COVID-19 and is now donating plasma, even though everyone else in the room appeared to be wearing one. He was also maskless when he visited a lab where Mayo conducts coronavirus tests.

And Pence was the only participant not to wear a mask during a roundtable discussion on Mayo’s coronavirus testing and research programs. All the other participants did, including Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn, top Mayo officials, Gov. Tim Walz and U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn.

Mayo tweeted that it had informed the vice president of its mask policy prior to his arrival. The tweet was later removed. Mayo officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why it was removed, or at whose request.

Pence explained his decision by stressing that he has been frequently 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,” Pence said, adding that he is following CDC guidelines, which indicate that the mask is good for preventing the spread of the virus by those who have it.

“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.'”

Pence also went without a mask a week earlier when he visited a GE Healthcare facility that makes ventilators. Some at the event in Madison, Wisconsin, wore masks and others did not. The White House said then that Pence had tested negative for the coronavirus and suggested that under the guidelines developed by the coronavirus task force there was no need for him to wear a mask.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Bismarck Blast Softball

Thumbnail for the video titled "Bismarck Blast Softball"

Lauren Ware

Thumbnail for the video titled "Lauren Ware"

Friday, May 29th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Friday, May 29th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

Bismarck Larks

Thumbnail for the video titled "Bismarck Larks"

Cattle Market Trouble

Thumbnail for the video titled "Cattle Market Trouble"

Care19 Security

Thumbnail for the video titled "Care19 Security"

Sports on Tap

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sports on Tap"

Service Award

Thumbnail for the video titled "Service Award"

Scholarship Fund

Thumbnail for the video titled "Scholarship Fund"

YHF

Thumbnail for the video titled "YHF"

Robert Suhr KX News 5:20am Forecast 5-29-20

Thumbnail for the video titled "Robert Suhr KX News 5:20am Forecast 5-29-20"

Robert One Minute 5-29

Thumbnail for the video titled "Robert One Minute 5-29"

Furry Friday 5-29

Thumbnail for the video titled "Furry Friday 5-29"

Bobbleheads for COVID-19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Bobbleheads for COVID-19"

Nail Salons New Norm

Thumbnail for the video titled "Nail Salons New Norm"

Mr. Baseball, Bottineau

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mr. Baseball, Bottineau"

Car of the Year

Thumbnail for the video titled "Car of the Year"

Military Affairs Williston

Thumbnail for the video titled "Military Affairs Williston"

Rotary Donates

Thumbnail for the video titled "Rotary Donates"

Rotary Club Donations

Thumbnail for the video titled "Rotary Club Donations"
More Video

COVID Symptoms infographic

KX News Trending Stories

North Dakota Resources

North Dakota Resources

More Resources

Don't Miss

Daily Pledge

More Daily Pledge