During a visit to the Mayo Clinic, Vice President Mike Pence went maskless despite facility rules requiring face coverings for visitors.
"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 health care personnel and look them in the eye and say thank you," Pence said.
Pence, who currently heads the White House coronavirus task force, was visiting the Mayo clinic with FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.
After reporters asked why he wasn't wearing a mask, Pence told reporters he is tested for coronavirus "on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus."
Not long after images of the vice president not wearing a mask began appearing online, the Mayo Clinic tweeted a message saying he'd been informed of the mask policy ahead of time:
"Mayo Clinic has informed @VP of masking policy prior to his arrival today."
The clinic has had a policy in place since April 13 regarding face masks.
"Patients and visitors are asked to bring their own face covering or mask to wear," the Mayo Clinic wrote in a statement. "If a patient or visitor does not have a mask, Mayo Clinic will provide one."
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