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Vice President Mike Pence would like the story of him not wearing a protective mask to the Mayo Clinic to just go away, but it's now survived in the news cycle for four days, partially because of misleading statements put out by his wife.
Pence visited Minnesota's Mayo Clinic on Tuesday, interacting with doctors, nurses, and patients while not wearing any protective equipment; everyone else in photos from that day wore masks. After a public outcry, the Mayo Clinic tweeted it had informed Pence's staff before his vist of their policy requiring all visitors wear masks to slow the spread of COVID-19. The tweet was quickly deleted.
Then on Thursday, Karen Pence claimed her husband didn't know the esteemed medical facility required visitors wear protective masks -- she also said that since Pence doesn't have COVID-19 he posed no threat to others (of course, Pence could catch the virus at any point, and as head of the Trump administration's COVID-19 response team his actions take on huge significance).
After the second lady's interview, Voice of America reporter Steve Herman complicated that story by tweeting the following:
\u201cAll of us who traveled with him were notified by the office of @VP the day before the trip that wearing of masks was required by the @MayoClinic and to prepare accordingly.\u201d— Steve Herman (@Steve Herman) 1588254283
Now Pence's staff is furious and retaliating against Herman, according to The Washington Post. The vice president's office ostensibly took umbrage with Herman sharing details of an off-the-record planning memo that included the message to reporters "Please note, the Mayo Clinic is requiring all individuals traveling with the VP wear masks. Please bring one to wear while on the trip."
Initially, Herman was told he could no longer travel with other reporters on Air Force Two, the vice president's plane. Pence's staff is now saying that punishment is not confirmed, pending an apology from Herman or Voice of America.