Speed Reads

Mea culpa

Pence admits he should have worn a mask while visiting the Mayo Clinic

After originally defending his decision not to wear a face mask while visiting with patients and doctors at the Mayo Clinic last week, Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday admitted that he should have put one on.

Under the Minnesota clinic's guidelines, anyone who walks onto the campus must wear a face mask. Pence, who is in charge of the administration's efforts to combat the coronavirus, was photographed walking around the clinic without a mask, the pictures showing him chatting with doctors and meeting a man who beat the virus and was donating his blood for research.

The criticism came swiftly, and Pence defended himself by saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that masks keep people from spreading COVID-19, and since he is regularly tested, he does not pose a risk. On Sunday, he appeared alongside President Trump at a Fox News virtual town hall, and said he "didn't think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic." Wearing a mask is especially important, he added, because it's "really a statement about the American people, the way they have been willing to step forward, practice social distancing, and wear masks in settings where they can't do that."