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On April 13, the world-renowned medical center announced a policy requiring patients and visitors alike to wear a face mask at all times. The move helps the clinic comply with guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which previously changed its recommendations noting that masks prevent people who may be asymptomatic or presymptomatic with the coronavirus from passing the virus onto other people.
When images were released showing Pence not wearing a mask during a recent visit, celebrities and political opponents far-and-wide cracked down on the vice president for flaunting the rules amid a global pandemic. In an interview with Howard Stern Wednesday, the former late-night host rebuked Pence for “taunting these poor people.”
“Now if you go to the Mayo Clinic because you have COVID-19, you really have it,” Letterman told Howard Stern on the Wednesday episode his SiriusXM show (via Yahoo Entertainment). “[Pence] takes time off from his gig as a mannequin, and he’s walking around without a mask taunting these poor people who are bedridden and wearing a mask. To me, that is just taunting people who are ill, to see that guy walking around in his $40 suit walking around in the Mayo Clinic without a mask.”
Pence explained his actions to reporters, stating: “When the CDC issued those guidelines, it was their recognition that people that may have it may prevent transmitting by wearing a mask. Since I don’t have it, I thought it would be a good opportunity to be here, speak to these guys and look them in the eye.”
Although Pence explained that his decision to not wear a mask had to do with the fact that he’s tested for COVID-19 regularly and is not believed to have it, many of his detractors in Hollywood still seized the opportunity to take to social media to criticize the vice president for flaunting the rules.
As of Thursday morning, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 3,207,248 people across 185 countries and territories, resulting in over 227,971 deaths. In the U.S., all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, tallying over 1,040,488 illnesses and at least 60,999 deaths.
Letterman wasn’t all negative in his interview. The “Howard Stern Show” released a video clip of the former late-night host sharing inspirational words to the audience as they remain in quarantine.
“You take a look at the… All around the world there is hell like this going on every day that we either know about and don’t care about or don’t know about. But we’re not the only ones suffering hell now. We’ve been through it before. We were attacked, we lived through the AIDS epidemic, in 1957 there was a flu that killed nearly a million people, there was World War II, there was the Holocaust, there are people killing other people on a routine basis and yet the human spirit, built into the human spirit is a resilience unlike any other mechanism on the planet and this will pass and we will survive,” he shared.