Vice President Mike Pence received criticism after meeting with dozens of Trump campaign staffers in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, all of whom were in a crowded room without facemasks and ignoring coronavirus social distancing guidelines.
In a tweet that Pence later took down, he said, “Stopped by to see the great men and women of the Trump-Pence Team today!”
"Thank you for all of the hard work, keep it up!" Pence added, above a picture of him in the packed room.
Pence, the leader of the Coronavirus Task Force, violated coronavirus guidelines put in place by Gov. Ralph Northam, requiring that facemasks be worn while inside office buildings, along with six feet of social distancing parameters between each individual.
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., took to twitter to criticize the vice president.
“Pence and dozens who work for Trump flagrantly violating Virginia public health orders that face coverings be worn at any “indoor place shared by groups of people who are in close proximity to each other,” tweeted Beyer.
“The fact that Pence deleted the tweet shows that he knows the behavior was wrong,” Beyer said Thursday.
“Rather than holding themselves to a higher standard, the Vice President and the Trump campaign are setting the worst possible example.”
Pence’s visit to the Arlington Trump campaign’s office came the same day the U.S. reportedly hit two million confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Over 112,000 people in the U.S. have died as a result of the virus, and many states are still seeing surges in cases reported, even as states push to continue reopening their economies.
Texas and Florida are among the states seeing spikes in confirmed cases. And Arizona reported an average of over a 1,000 new cases a day.
Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller, tested positive for COVID-19 in May and has since recovered.