Vice President Mike Pence flew to Dallas, Texas on Sunday morning, and social media users lashed out at him for not wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic. Pence posted a photo of himself on an airstrip, apparently heading to his flight and not keeping six feet away from other people. The vice president did not wear a mask, nor did anyone around him.
Pence is going to Dallas for an event called Celebrate Freedom Sunday at First Baptist Church, along with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Senator John Cornyn. Both he and President Donald Trump praised Pastor Robert Jeffress, whom Pence is going to hear speak. According to a report by The Dallas Morning News, Pence will be joined by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the coronavirus task force's Dr. Deborah Birx. Pence is expected to give his own remarks at the event.
Critics were horrified to see Pence walking so close to other people, especially without wearing a mask. Many also responded to his tweet asking if this trip to Texas was really necessary at all, as the state has rapidly rising coronavirus rates amid its reopening efforts. Some argued that Pence should lead by example and minimize his own travel, saying that a church service was no reason to cross state lines.
These coronavirus protocol violations are just one of the reasons Pence is under fire right now, however. Upon seeing his tweet this morning, many responded with questions or condemnations concerning the New York Times report this week stating that Trump and Pence were briefed on intelligence showing that Russia offered a bounty on troops from the U.S. Many called Pence "treasonous" for this, saying that he betrayed those servicemembers. Some even questioned his committment to Christianity, saying that taking this trip for a Texas church service was just a PR move.
The White House officially denied the Times report, and on Sunday morning, Trump echoed this sentiment on Twitter. He tweeted that neither he nor Pence knew about the bounties on U.S. military members, even going so far as to claim that the whole report was fictitious. That did not stop Pence's Twitter followers from weighing in, however. Here's a look at how they responded to the vice president's picture on Sunday morning.
Wear a Mask
Wear a mask— imagine ✌️✌️ (@MAS0424) June 28, 2020
Wear a mask!— BobbyR (@teynolds_bobby) June 28, 2020
Wear a mask!— Tits McGee (@LeAnn) June 28, 2020
As cases rise, even two red states are pausing reopen - a great idea go to the epicenter - engage in risky behavior and of course no mask https://t.co/rvyKNVuMnZ— Matt Livingston (@mattgreenviile) June 28, 2020
Of course he is going to a state that is spiking..— Phoebe (@PinkCottage1) June 28, 2020
Why ? Why did you lie ? Why ? Why did you not tell the American people?— sheila joyce lee (@Keilakoo64Lee) June 28, 2020
Why? Why you dont RESPECT the American people you dont ware a mask. Why? Why? Why? https://t.co/LjqceuytBx
Why do we pay you to go to church?— Jane Fuller (@jfuller49) June 28, 2020
May you all be blessed with COVID 19. Leave your mask at home. https://t.co/3cHv4rWGMi— Debbie Downer (@PSBurgess_13) June 28, 2020