Vice President Mike Pence came under fire yet again on Monday for ignoring face mask guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic. The White House introduced a new policy mandating that people inside the White House wear face coverings, yet on Monday, Pence was not wearing one. One of Pence's staff members recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Pence was not wearing a face mask on Monday on Monday inside the White House, even though two aides have now tested positive for coronavirus, according to a report by TMZ. The head of the Trump administration's coronavirus task force previously came under fire for not wearing a mask during a visit to the May Clinic. Although he apologized afterward, Pence has continued to be seen without a mask in public appearances since.
Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, has tested positive for COVID-19, as has a valet driver for President Donald Trump. These instances spurred the White House to institute an official policy requiring everyone inside to wear a mask, yet both Trump and Pence opted not to on Monday.
According to a report by The New York Times, both Trump and Pence have spent time in close quarters with Miller shortly before her diagnosis. Miller is married to Trump's close adviser Stephen Miller, and both are now in quarantine. Other White House officials are taking this contact more seriously — on Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters he is in a "modified quarantine" at home due to a "low risk" contact with an infected person.
Back in April, Pence came under heavy scrutiny for flouting his face mask during a visit to the May Clinic, where every other person on camera appeared to be wearing one. At the time, he told reporters he chose not to wear one because he wanted to be able to look doctors, nurses and patients "in the eye" and thank them, though onlookers questioned the logic of this explanation.
"As Vice President of the United States, I'm tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus," Pence said at the time, according to a report by The Daily Mail. "And 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 healthcare personnel and look them in the eye and say thank you."
The CDC recommends that all Americans wear a mask during any essential trips out in public. For the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization.