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"The View" co-hosts Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin accused VIce President Mike Pence Wednesday of trying to suck up to President Trump by defying the Mayo Clinic's policy and not wearing a face mask during a recent visit
"Mike Pence has a choice ... ['Should I] be disrespectful to the doctors or should I be disprespectful to the president?" Behar said. "And since this guy is so nervous that Nikki Haley's going to get the [VP] slot, he can do nothing to displease the king. If the king doesn't wear a mask, then the joker doesn't wear a mask."
Hostin agreed, saying that Pence was "playing to Donald Trump." She also argued that Pence had demonstrated a lack of leadership after the Trump administration recently recommended wearing face masks to protect against potential infection from the coronavirus.
"You know, leadership is really important during this time, and it just showed a lack of leadership. He's supposed to be the head of this [White House coronavirus] task force, and I thought it was really despicable," she said. "It's just clear that he was playing to Donald Trump ... his entire team was wearing a mask, he was given the opportunity to wear a mask, his team was told that that was the policy. Yet, he did not wear a mask."
The Mayo Clinic tweeted that it had informed the vice president of its mask policy prior to his arrival. The tweet was later removed. Mayo officials did not directly respond to the Associated Press' request for comment on why it was removed, or at whose request.
“Mayo shared the masking policy with the VP’s office,” the health care system said in its response.
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.
“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,'" the vice president added.