Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that he encourages people to wear a mask when it's necessary or when their local or state officials recommend doing so.
During a visit to Texas, which has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, Pence spoke directly to the people of the state when discussing the phased reopenings of the economy from virus-related closures.
"There was guidance throughout that applied to all of the phases. Chief among them was that people should continue to practice good hygiene, wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and wear a mask wherever it's indicated or wherever you're not able to practice the kind of social distancing that would prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And we would strongly reiterate that today," Pence said.
"I know that roughly half the state [of Texas] is under local ordinances, strongly recommend [wearing a mask]. If your local officials in consultation with the state are directing you to wear a mask, we encourage everyone to wear a mask in the affected areas. Where you can't maintain social distancing, wearing a mask is just a good idea. It will — we know from experience — will slow the spread of the coronavirus."
President Donald Trump has been reluctant to wear a mask, at least in public, and Pence has followed a similar path. After he faced tough questions on Friday about why the campaign is holding events in packed venues with people not wearing masks, however, Pence canceled campaign events in Florida and Arizona.
He did travel to Texas to meet with Gov. Greg Abbott about the virus situation, which is when he made his remark about wearing masks. Pence himself wore a mask when he stepped off Air Force Two upon landing in the Lone Star State and at several other points during the visit.
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