Vice President Mike Pence chose not to wear a face mask Tuesday during a tour of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, a violation of the world-renowned medical center's policy requiring them.
ope体育Video feeds show that Pence did not wear a mask when he met with a Mayo employee who has recovered from COVID-19 and is now donating plasma, even though everyone else in the room appeared to be wearing one. He was also maskless when he visited a lab where Mayo conducts coronavirus tests.
And Pence was the only participant not to wear a mask during a roundtable discussion on Mayo's coronavirus testing and research programs. All the other participants did, including Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn, top Mayo officials, Gov. Tim Walz and U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn.
ope体育Pence explained his decision by stressing that he has been frequently tested for the virus.
“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, adding that he is following CDC guidelines, which indicate that the mask is good for preventing the spread of the virus by those who have it.
“And since I don’t have the coronavirus, I thought it’d be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible healthcare personnel, and look them in the eye and say 'thank you.'”
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump will take executive action Tuesday to order meat processing plants to stay open amid concerns over growing coronavirus cases and the impact on the nation's food supply.
ope体育The order will use the Defense Production Act to classify meat processing as critical infrastructure to keep production plants open and prevent a shortage of chicken, pork, and other meat on American supermarket shelves.
ope体育The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents 1.3 million food and retail workers, said Tuesday that 20 U.S. food-processing and meatpacking union workers in the U.S. have died of the virus. An estimated 6,500 are sick or have been exposed to the virus while working near someone who tested positive, the union says.
In other developments:
- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States topped 1 million on Tuesday as researchers say the number of deaths could rise in coming weeks. There are at least 1,002,498 cases of the virus across the US, according to a tally from health officials by John Hopkins University.
- The summertime clangs chimed by ice cream trucks could be replaced by school bells in California. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday students could return to the classroom as early as July, and starting early could help make up for some of the “learning losses” as parents have tried to teach their children at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
- At the Vatican, Pope Francis called for “prudence and obedience” to government protocols on virus-imposed lockdowns of religious services to prevent infections from surging again. His appeal came two days after bishops complained the Italian government provided no provisions for Masses in its plan to reopen business, social and sporting life starting May 4.
- Facing fierce blowback, House Democratic leadership announced that the House will not resume session next week as planned because of risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer declared the sudden about-face a day after a lawmakers revolted.
- New doubts are being raised over whether Japan will be able to host the already postponed Summer Olympics next year without the development of a vaccine.
- The governor of North Carolina said Tuesday that NASCAR can go forward with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway without fans in attendance at the end of May unless health conditions deteriorate in the state. NASCAR would be among the first sports leagues to resume even a modified schedule.
- Parts of the U.S. are starting to lift closures, and some of the quickest to reopen have been rural states like Montana, Vermont and Alaska. The effects of the pandemic in smaller, more remote towns can seem a world away from cities grappling with overwhelmed hospitals, packed morgues and economies pushed to the brink.
- Workers who had been exposed to the new coronavirus at Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital were herded into a small building to be tested. Inside, few wore masks. They were given test kits by people without gloves and told to swirl a swab inside their noses. The method was designed only for people showing symptoms, but the staffers said none of them did. Many told The Associated Press that the flawed testing process likely produced inaccurate results and exposed them to the virus again.
- For millions of people around the world dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, sleep brings no relief. The horrors of COVID-19, and the surreal and frightening ways it has upended daily life, are infecting dreams and exposing feelings of fear, loss, isolation and grief that transcend culture, language and national boundaries.
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