CNN anchor Don Lemon blasted Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday night after Pence, the leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, declined to wear a mask while visiting patients at the Mayo Clinic and offered what Lemon called a “ridiculous” excuse.
Pence told reporters after his visit: “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. And when the CDC issued guidelines about wearing a mask, it was their recognition that people that they have the coronavirus could prevent the possibly of conveying the virus to someone else by wearing a mask. And since I don’t have the coronavirus, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible health care personnel, and look them in the eye and say thank you.”
“What about the fact that it is their policy?” asked Lemon. “It is the policy that you created. What about the fact that they offered one upon your arrival? What about the fact it’s possible for a coronavirus test to be inaccurate? And it’s possible for you to contract and spread the virus after you’ve tested negative.”
Said Lemon: “So the advice from the experts is clear. Remember, he’s the head of the task force. The head of the task force. The advice is to wear a mask for the protection of other people, but the vice president chose not to. “
“Come on,” said Lemon, putting on a surgical mask. “Can you see my eyes? It’s not an eye mask we’re talking about. This is ridiculous. We all know that you can look somebody in the eye while wearing a mask. Millions of Americans have been wearing masks during this pandemic? Guess what? They can still see!”
Lemon then noted that Pence was not wearing a mask for an audience of one: Donald Trump, who said he chose not to wear a mask because it would look undignified in the Oval Office.
If the rest of us can do it, and we can, why can’t the president? Why can’t the vice president? … At a time when hundreds of millions of Americans are suffering, and sacrificing, and dying, but they can’t do it. We’re in the middle of a crisis – this is a time when we really need our leaders to show up, to show leadership. … Do as I say, and as I do. Wear a mask. It’s that simple.”