Photo may have been deleted

Screen grab: YouTube/PBS

Vice President Mike Pence declined to wear a face mask during a tour of the Mayo Clinic, disregarding the famous Minnesota clinic's face mask policy.

News footage shows a maskless Pence surrounded by Mayo Clinic staffers wearing masks. After the tour, the Mayo Clinic tweeted that Pence was informed of the masking policy prior to his arrival. That tweet has since been deleted.

Pence's refusal to don a mask renewed public speculation that a Covid-19 vaccine exists. But Pence explained to reporters that he and President Trump are regularly tested for the coronavirus.

"As Vice President of the United States I'm tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis," he said, "and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus. And 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 health care personnel, and look them in the eye and say thank you."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised the public to wear face masks to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. But President Trump declared the CDC suggestion is not mandatory and that he would not wear a mask.

COVID-19 causes mild symptoms or no symptoms in most healthy adults. The virus causes acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and potentially fatal pneumonia among the elderly, particularly those with chronic illnesses such as respiratory and heart problems, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and smokers.

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