18:00 GMT18 January 2021
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    On 26 April, US Vice President Mike Pence made a visit to Minnesota's Mayo Clinic to find out more about novel coronavirus testing, with no mask covering his face.

    On Sunday, Mike Pence said that he made a mistake not wearing a mask at the health institution in Rochester, despite not believing he could put staff and patients at risk.

    “I didn’t think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic”, Pence said during a Fox News virtual town hall evening.

    The US vice president explained he acted in compliance with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, according to which masks serve to prevent wearers from spreading the infection, not from guarding against it.

    Pence added that he and the US president are regularly tested for the COVID-19, stressing that he did not see the need to wear a mask during the visit, as he knew he had not tested positive.

    “I think it really is a statement about the American people, the way people have been willing to step forward, practice social distancing, wear masks in setting where they can’t do that”, Pence continued. “I couldn’t be more grateful to see how the American people responded.”

    As of Sunday, the United States remains coronavirus hot spot number one in the world, with over 1,122 million cases of coronavirus and 65,700 fatalities registered, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention data shows.

    Minnesota, Mike Pence, United States
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