Earlier this month, President Donald Trump raised announced updated health expert recommendations to wear facial coverings in order to slow the spread of the virus that's killed thousands of Americans and upended daily life in the United States.
Trump stressed that these were just recommendations and that he wouldn't be wearing one himself, implying that it was a sign of weakness for a world leader to do so.
As a result, Trump supporters are significantly less likely to wear facial coverings that prevent their saliva droplets from projecting onto other people and surfaces, potentially spreading the virus.
Among those supporters is Vice President Mike Pence, whose Tuesday tour of the Mayo Clinic made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The Clinic's website reads:
"Part of our protocol for ensuring your safety is to require all patients, visitors and staff to wear a face covering or mask while at Mayo Clinic to guard against transmission of [the virus]."
Despite Mayo Clinic requirements and despite meeting with numerous doctors and even a patient at the clinic, Pence didn't wear a facial covering.
People noticed and began asking questions as to why Pence was an exception to a potentially lifesaving rule.
The Mayo Clinic said in a tweet that they'd informed the Vice President of their policy, but the tweet was soon mysteriously deleted.
the @MayoClinic has deleted this tweet about face masks and the @VP's visit. https://t.co/0OJTwdy6x0— Eli Yokley (@Eli Yokley)1588099902.0
The Mayo Clinic receives around $634 million per year in federal funding. Given the Trump administration's infamous vindictiveness, some wondered if the tweet was deleted out of fear of retaliation.
Mayo Clinic tweeted this after Mike Pence toured the facility — the only “human” not wearing a mask. Mayo Clinic th… https://t.co/3b3UD1zJE6— Pissed👏🏼Off👏🏼Prof👏🏼 (@Pissed👏🏼Off👏🏼Prof👏🏼)1588103288.0
Yeah, so that Mayo Clinic tweet where they confirmed that Pence had been told of policy to wear masks (which Pense… https://t.co/mwCRYqGp0e— aweisburd (@aweisburd)1588100053.0
I think this is worth a retweet, since @VP refused to follow protocol, did not wear a mask, endangered staff and pa… https://t.co/BgJTXSlXIF— Bruce Woodrow (@Bruce Woodrow)1588101808.0
Regardless, the clinic's deletion only brought more attention to the statement.
World renowned 156-year-old academic medical center. One public visit from the Trump Cartel. Reputation? DING! https://t.co/BHDABC7eph— Jeffrey Wright (@Jeffrey Wright)1588100718.0
@eyokley @MayoClinic @VP As a patient of Mayo Clinic, I am appalled and absolutely horrified. This is a slap in the… https://t.co/wDUin7XazB— Tara Tisch🦓🍀🎨 (@Tara Tisch🦓🍀🎨)1588102960.0
It’s ironic that the Trump administration is so concerned about appearances, while also completely tone deaf about… https://t.co/MgZt6vZfY1— Dorene Mahoney (@Dorene Mahoney)1588112727.0
This is how white supremacist capitalism works. https://t.co/mUtFeG9VgB— GriefAndCreativity (@GriefAndCreativity)1588103491.0
This idiot. @GovPenceIN thank you for proving your arrogance and general disregard for everyone around you. Not tha… https://t.co/PHxUQSXdS8— Pandora Boxx (@Pandora Boxx)1588110083.0
Not a good look, Mike.
For a deeper look into Trump's ineptitude, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.