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Coming to Pence's Defense on Mask Decision: His Wife

Karen Pence says VP didn't learn of Mayo policy until after he left, wasn't at risk of infecting anyone
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2020 12:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – Mike Pence is taking all kinds of flak for not wearing a mask during a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota this week, but his wife came to his defense on Thursday morning. "As our medical experts have told us, wearing a mask prevents you from spreading disease, and knowing he doesn't have COVID-19, he didn't wear one," Karen Pence said in an interview on Fox News Thursday, per the Hill. That jibes with the VP's own explanation that he's tested frequently and doesn't have the disease. What's more, "it was actually after he left Mayo Clinic that he found out they had a policy of asking everyone to wear a mask," said Karen Pence.

The clinic initially tweeted that the VP was made aware before his arrival of the policy requiring visitors to wear masks, but that tweet was deleted, notes USA Today. Later, the clinic posted that it was "grateful" for the visit. The criticism continued, however, with David Letterman among those joining in. On Howard Stern's Sirius radio show, Letterman castigated the former governor of his native state. "To me that's just taunting people who are ill," Letterman said of Pence's no-mask visit, per the Hollywood Reporter. He added that he personally knows people who've been hospitalized with the coronavirus, including the wife of Paul Shaffer, his former musical director. (Read more Mike Pence stories.)

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