Social media is erupting, in both laughter and criticism, after Vice President Mike Pence was caught delivering "empty" boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) "just for the camera." The incident occurred just a little more than a week after Pence faced criticism for failing to wear a face mask during his visit to the Mayo Clinic, despite a policy requiring people to wear face coverings in the facility.
Mike Pence caught on hot mic delivering empty boxes of PPE for a PR stunt. pic.twitter.com/IduvGhiPwj— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) May 8, 2020
Occurring Thursday at the Woodbine Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Alexandria, Virginia, which has several COVID-19 patients, Pence, not wearing gloves or a face mask, was recorded dropping off a number of boxes at the doorstep. Seemingly unaware, or simply forgetting, that his mic was live, the president was heard asking if he could carry the empty ones just for the camera?" after being informed that "those are empty, sir.""
The clip, shared by C-SPAN and later making its way to Jimmy Kimmel and Twitter, promptly sparked discussions on social media. After the clip made its way to Twitter, people slammed the vice president as "pathetic" and questioned the decision to have him lead the White House coronavirus task force. Keep scrolling to see what social media has to say.
No, Mike Pence, the health care heroes on the frontlines don't need you to carry the empty boxes "just for the camera." There are more than 75,000 Americans dead, so they don't need your jokes — they need the personal protective equipment that is going to save lives. pic.twitter.com/nVD3IjtiNt— Matt Hill (@thematthill) May 8, 2020
Also, he is delivering (empty) boxes of protective gear to a nursing home… while not wearing any protective gear himself…
I can't with these people.— Pé (@4everNeverTrump) May 8, 2020
Breathing all over everything because he's not wearing a mask. No gloves on as he touches cart and EMPTY boxes that are being taken into a nursing home. Apparently our elderly aren't dying fast enough for him, so infect them for a photo op.— Andrea (@Andrea_51544005) May 8, 2020
Mike Pence carrying EMPTY BOXES and pretending they contain protective equipment for people working in nursing homes is a perfect encapsulation of his tenure as chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force https://t.co/JOZLBd5mXo— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) May 8, 2020
Mike Pence taking PPE boxes into a healthcare center with no mask on gets caught on a hot mic after telling the crew he will roll in the empty boxes "for the camera."
Such a hero. pic.twitter.com/Y8nVDfp91B— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) May 8, 2020
How about STILL not wearing a mask in a medical facility? It’s all for show no matter the rationalization— BB (@SeeMeBe) May 8, 2020
1) did they seriously bring empty boxes?
2) I mean, what the fuck? They brought empty boxes?!?!
3) it's not like a full box of masks is even that heavy
4) seriously, fuck these people— Pé (@4everNeverTrump) May 8, 2020
VP Mike Pence carrying an empty box of personal protective equipment for a publicity stunt is the embodiment of this callous reality Tv empty promises Trump administration whose covid19 failure has destroyed lives and livelihoods. #VoteThemOut pic.twitter.com/Oakz3yJ7I0— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) May 8, 2020
Meanwhile, while healthcare workers are dying because they don't have enough PPE, Vice President Mike Pence is delivering empty boxes of PPE for PR stunts. #CoronavirusPandemic #EmptyPPENCE pic.twitter.com/1t6zmEiy3v— Big Boss (@escapedmatrix) May 8, 2020
People are dying by the thousands and top leaders want a photo op to make people seem they are helping. You deserve to go down with Trump, @VP and this has got to be on today’s A Block for @maddow @MaddowBlog #GOPDeathPanels— #Enough (@bekinddotcom) May 8, 2020
I love how he acted like it was really heavy on the first box, only to be exposed by the second one.— Rob Cady🌊🇺🇸 (@robcady13) May 8, 2020
Some, however, have suggested that the clip that has found its way to Twitter is a bit misleading. In one response, a Twitter user said that in the full clip, Pence decides not to go show off "just for the camera" and instead closes the van doors.
Edit is misleading.
He doesn't carry those last boxes. He shuts the van doors and turns to speak CEO of @fedresourcesMay 8, 2020
At this time, Pence, nor his team, have responded to the latest incident, which comes on the heels of the outrage sparked by his failure to wear a mask at the Mayo Clinic. Responding to that incident, Pence eventually admitted that he "should have worn a mask."