Vice President Mike Pence wore a mask Thursday when he visited a General Motors/Ventec plant in Indiana after being criticized for not donning one during his trip Tuesday to the Mayo Clinic.
Pence had on the protective face gear when he toured the plant, which has been converted into a ventilator production site to help combat the coronavirus.
And he wore it when he spoke to employees on the factory line but he removed later at an employee round table.
‘I just got to tell you that I’m so proud,’ Pence told employees. ‘I’m so proud of the all the volunteers here that are making this incredible partnership happen. I talked to a former Marine, who’s working the line here, and he told me that not since he was in the Marine Corps that felt more part of a mission, as much a part of you all are part of our nation’s mission.’
Vice President Mike Pence wore a mask Thursday when he visited a General Motors/Ventec plant in Indiana after being criticized for not donning one during his trip Tuesday to the Mayo Clinic
Vice President Pence wore the mask when he toured the factory, which was converted to make ventilators to combat the coronavirus
Vice President Pence was heavily criticized when he did not wear a face mask earlier this week on a trip to the Mayo Clinic
Vice President Mike Pence wore a face mask as he toured the factory floor of the GM/Ventec plant in Kokomo, Indiana
Pence did remove his mask when he held a roundtable discussion with factory employees
Employees of the plant also wore masks as did other administration officials traveling with the vice president. Some took their masks off at the round table event too.
General Motors worked with UAW to bring employees back to the auto plant in mid-April to produce critical care ventilators for hospitals around the country. The facility in Kokomo, Indiana, was set up to accommodate production in 17 days and has already manufactured hundreds of ventilators, including ones sent to hospitals in Gary, Indiana, that were struggling with their supply.
Pence was joined by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, OMB Acting Director Russ Vought and Rear Adm. John Polowczyk for the day-trip to his home state.
The vice president endured heavy criticism when he did not wear a face mask during a tour of the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday.
Karen Pence said that her husband didn’t know it was the policy of the Mayo Clinic for visitors to wear masks until he left the facility.
‘Knowing that he doesn’t have COVID-19, he didn’t wear one. It was actually after he left Mayo Clinic that he found out that they had a policy of asking everyone to wear a mask,’ she said Thursday morning on ‘Fox & Friends.’
Vice President Pence, who is the head of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, was surrounded by people wearing masks during his visit Tuesday to the Rochester, Minnesota, hospital.
A hospital employee told DailyMail.com that it’s highly unlikely Pence didn’t know the policy.
The person said an announcement is made over the loudspeaker on the Mayo campus regarding the mask policy ‘approximately every 30 to 60 minutes, making Karen Pence’s claims even more absurd. It is extremely unlikely that the Vice President did not hear these recurrent announcements.’
Karen Pence said Vice President Mike Pence didn’t know it was the policy of the Mayo Clinic for visitors to wear masks until he left the facility
He gave a slightly different explanation for not wearing one.
He did say Tuesday he didn’t wear a mask during his visit because he is regularly tested for the virus and doesn’t have it.
But he also added he wanted to be able to look people in the eye and thank them. The masks cover the nose and mouth but not the eyes.
‘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 noted, saying 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,’ he added.
Vice President Mike Pence flouted the Mayo Clinic’s face mask policy during visit even as others wore one
Token effort: Mike Pence ignored the hospital’s policy that everyone wears a mask – but he did manage an elbow bump with Dr. Michael Johnson who was introducing him to survivor Dennis Nelson (right)
The Mayo Clinic deleted its tweet saying it informed Vice President Mike Pence of its mask policy
Vice President Mike Pence talks with a lab technician as he tours Mayo Clinic facilities
Vice President Mike Pence visits Dennis Nelson, who survived the coronavirus, and was going to give blood during a tour of the Mayo Clinic
Vice President Mike Pence said he didn’t wear a mask because he doesn’t have the virus
The Mayo Cinic asks all visitors to wear face masks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, which is also a recommendation the Trump administration has made.
‘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,’ reads the Mayo Clinic’s policy, according to its website. ‘If a patient or visitor does not have a mask, Mayo Clinic will provide one.’
The clinic has had the mask policy in place since April 13.
Pence was told of the policy before he visited, the clinic said in a Twitter post that was subsequently deleted.
‘Mayo Clinic had informed @VP of the masking policy prior to his arrival today,’ the post read.
Dr. Stephen Hahn, the head of the Food and Drug Administration, sported a mask as did Mayo Clinic officials who accompanied Pence when he visited a blood and plasma donation center on the campus. Members of the vice president’s entourage also wore face coverings.
During his visit, Pence met Dennis Nelson, a Mayo Clinic employee from Rochester, who contracted the coronavirus at the end of March and recovered.
Nelson made a donation and sat in a chair in the blood and plasma donation center of the clinic while talking to Pence.
Pence also toured the virology laboratory’s labeling area, where he thanked some of the employees, all in white coats and masks.
The vice president also held a roundtable with local officials and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.
All except Pence wore masks. And the officials observed socially distance guidelines when they sat at the table with several feet between them.
‘We will get through this, we will get through this together,’ Pence said.
Vice President Pence talking with staff who wore masks while he did not
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz greeted Vice President Mike Pence when he arrived in the state; Walz wore a face mask while Pence didn’t; the two men bumped elbows instead of shaking hands
Vice President Pence also held a roundtable at the hospital where participants – except for him – wore a face mask
The Mayo Clinic’s policy on wearing face masks
When President Donald Trump announced his administration’s recommendation to wear face marks on April 3, he said he wouldn’t wear one.
‘I don’t think I’m going to be doing it,’ he said, saying he didn’t want to do such a thing in the Oval Office: ‘Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I just don’t see it.’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a face mask in public settings where socially distancing policies are hard to follow.