The Potluck

VP Mike Pence is special and doesn’t have to wear a mask

By: - April 28, 2020 1:03 pm

This is Pence in Florida not wearing a mask. Today he was at the Mayo Clinic, not wearing a mask.

Vice President Mike Pence toured the Mayo Clinic with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.

Minnesota Reformer is not there, but some of the Minnesota press corps is, dutifully describing the action for us.

The Star Tribune‘s Briana Bierschbach reports on Twitter that Pence elbow bumped a Mayo employee who had a mild case and is now recovering and donating plasma. And that Pence says they’re “very excited” about Mayo’s antibody testing capacity, which allows us to find out who has had COVID-19 and may have some immunity from the disease.

Bierschbach also reports Pence was complimentary of Walz and the Minnesotans he leads.


Perhaps most interesting, as Theo Keith of Fox-9 reported, Pence was the only person in the facility not wearing a mask. That’s because Mayo requires masks. Walz was wearing one. As was GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn of the 1st Congressional District.

Mayo sent out a passive-aggressive tweet about the incident, or maybe just aggressive-aggressive.

Mayo deleted the tweet. The New York Times reports that Pence has been getting criticism around the country as he has traveled for his duties, unmasked. The White House says he is frequently tested.

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J. Patrick Coolican
J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and two young children

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