TRADES & UNION DIGEST > In The Spotlight > Union that represents Mayo Clinic workers says Pence’s decision to not wear a mask ‘insults the hard work and sacrifices of all healthcare workers’

Union that represents Mayo Clinic workers says Pence’s decision to not wear a mask ‘insults the hard work and sacrifices of all healthcare workers’

3 months ago
Charlie Sprang
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salarshani@businessinsider.com (Sarah Al-Arshani)

The Union that represents Mayo Clinic employees issued a statement after Vice President Mike Pence visited the organization’s headquarters in Rochester, Minnesota calling Pence’s actions insulting.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota wrote: “When Vice President Mike Pence ignores the safety policy and refuses to wear a face mask, he insults the hard work and sacrifice of all healthcare workers. Worse, he puts them, their patients, and their families at risk.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Pence defended his choice to go against the clinic’s guidelines to wear a face mask or cover inside their facilities in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by noting he regularly gets tested for the new coronavirus.

“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, according to NBC. “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.”

Pence is the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force.

“The Mayo Clinic tweeted but then deleted a message that it had ‘informed’ Pence about its mask policy before his visit,” Business Insider previously reported.

The Union, which represents thousands of Mayo Clinic workers also said they were “deeply disappointed that Mayo failed to enforce their own policy.”

Pence has also ignored recommendations by health experts on how to limit the spread of the virus in the past and did not wear a mask when greeting Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on his way to the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on April 18 or when visiting a General Electric factory producing ventilators in Wisconsin on April 21.

“When the face-covering guidelines were developed, it was with the intention to not only protect yourself, but primarily to protect others from asymptomatic spread,” Katie Miller, Pence’s spokeswoman, told The New York Times. “Vice President Pence is negative for Covid-19 and is therefore not asymptomatic.”

However, according to the Times, Pence could still be at risk of contracting the highly contagious disease or pose a risk by having a false negative test result.

Photo Credit: CBS News

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