The White House is currently grappling with its own outbreak of the virus that's killed nearly 80 thousand Americans. Both President Donald Trump's personal valet and a senior advisor for Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive for the virus, in addition to 11 members of the Secret Service, though it's unclear whether or not the Secret Service agents were assigned to the White House.
Ahead of all this, the Trump administration has frequently downplayed the importance of precautions designed to slow the spread of the virus. Trump announced the revised recommendation of CDC guidelines to wear masks or facial coverings, while also stressing that he wouldn't be wearing a mask.
Vice President Mike Pence received widespread outcry after he broke with Mayo Clinic rules and declined to wear a mask during a tour of the facility.
Now, a resurfaced video from a meeting between food company CEOs and executives from the American Farm Bureau has eyes on Pence once again.
The video shows panelists on the meeting removing their face masks after an unnamed gestures for them to do so.
Unmasked in Iowawww.youtube.com
Minutes later, the men were joined by Pence, who wasn't wearing a mask. This was only hours after Pence was told that his press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the virus.
Once again, Pence's flouting of public safety was in the national spotlight.
"Please set a bad example like the administration" 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️😬😷 https://t.co/8Dzg3hVx7i— Rebecca McHood 🇺🇸 (@Rebecca McHood 🇺🇸) 1589217567.0
Hey, @VP why is it that you can force people to sacrifice their personal safety? Seems a bit crazy... considering C… https://t.co/RDe1M9xH7E— C Cottingham (@C Cottingham) 1589216557.0
DISGUSTING https://t.co/chVulaOBQu— ash (@ash) 1589217696.0
Pence learned he had been exposed to #COVID19 through his staffer and others *BEFORE* these guests were asked to re… https://t.co/nBL9CTPJL4— w 🧼 ASH 🧼 ur 👏🏽 hands 😷 (@w 🧼 ASH 🧼 ur 👏🏽 hands 😷) 1589215631.0
Unconscionable behavior from @VP https://t.co/2VZ8mQs3Lt— Barbara J Dowd (@Barbara J Dowd) 1589217995.0
Due to the high number of asymptomatic virus carriers, masks are effective for preventing microscopic infected saliva droplets from projecting onto surfaces and increasing the spread.
The Trump administration's defense for the absence of masks among its staff is that they're tested so frequently, they know they aren't carrying the virus and therefore don't need to wear masks.
This is despite a contradiction in the reason for its simultaneous dismissal of widespread testing: that there's no point in testing everyone because they could contract the virus the very next hour.
The White House's inability to contain the virus even among its own staff doesn't spark much confidence in its ability to contain the outbreak nationwide.
Coronavirus numbers aren't even going down in the White House https://t.co/kO00YE53No— The Daily Show (@The Daily Show) 1589205898.0
May I point out that the WH thinks this kind of effort is important for THEM, but NOT for YOU. And they have the… https://t.co/mOELdk7ciO— Pam Keith (@Pam Keith) 1589218944.0
The coronavirus is coming from inside the (White) house! https://t.co/nkTbZlyvel— David Corn (@David Corn) 1589207230.0
Pay no attention to the virus behind the curtain in the Oval Office that's infecting the staff. https://t.co/amzBEMl8CC— Charles S Lore (@Charles S Lore) 1589207798.0
The White House's bumbling response is nothing new. For a deeper look, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.