Vice President Mike Pence has defended his decision to not wear a face mask during a visit to the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday.
When asked why he wasn't sporting a face covering, Pence said masks are intended primarily to prevent "people that may have the coronavirus" from spreading it to others.
"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. "And since I don't have the coronavirus, I thought it'd be a good opportunity for me to be here, and to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible health care personnel, and look them in the eye and say 'thank you.'"
Some accused the vice president of violating the Mayo Clinic's policy, which requires "all patients and visitors to wear a face covering". That policy's in accordance with CDC recommendations and has been in effect since April 13.
In a since-deleted tweet, the clinic said it "had informed [Pence] of the masking policy prior to his arrival."
Contains footage from CNN.