David Letterman is calling out Mike Pence for not wearing a mask during his Mayo Clinic visit, accusing the vice president of “taunting” COVID-19 survivors and health care workers.
On Tuesday, Pence appeared to violate the Rochester, Minnesota, hospital’s policy by not wearing a mask during his tour of facilities supporting coronavirus research.
Speaking to reporters following his visit, Pence said he did not wear a mask because he did not have the coronavirus and was following CDC guidelines about wearing masks to prevent the spread of the disease by those who are infected with it but might not have symptoms.
“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.
Letterman, however, says he was disgusted by Pence’s mask-less presence.
“Now, if you go to the Mayo Clinic because you have COVID-19, you really have it,” Letterman said on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show Wednesday. “(Pence) takes time off from his gig as a mannequin, and he’s walking around without a mask taunting these poor people who are bedridden and wearing a mask.”
Letterman added: “To me, that is just taunting people who are ill, to see that guy in his $40 suit walking around in the Mayo Clinic without a mask.”
Letterman added that Pence is “particularly a thorn in my side because he used to be the governor of Indiana,” the home state of the television host.
Stern agreed with Letterman, saying Pence isn’t leading by example and is sending contradictory messages about whether Americans should be wearing masks or not.
Current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the wearing of a mask in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Contributing: Nicholas Wu