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Screenshot: MSNBC.

Vice President Mike Pence wore a face mask while touring a General Motors plant in Kokomo, Indiana, on Thursday, after coming under fire for flouting the Mayo Clinic's mandatory face mask policy during a visit on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the first time that Pence, who has traveled all over the country as head of the White House's coronavirus task force, has publicly worn a face mask. The CDC issued guidance this month recommending that Americans wear face coverings to help stop the asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus.

  • Pence told reporters amid backlash on Tuesday that he had tested negative for the virus: "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 healthcare personnel, and look them in the eye and say thank you," he said.
  • Second lady Karen Pence insisted on Fox News on Thursday morning that Pence only found about the Mayo Clinic's policy after leaving the facility, despite the clinic saying in a statement that it had informed his office beforehand.

The big picture: The plant that Pence toured on Thursday was brought back online to help ramp up the production of ventilators. GM and its partner, Ventec Life Systems, have said they will ship more than 600 ventilators this month, and almost 15,000 by the end of June.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases

Gov. Charlie Baker at Boston MedFlight Headquarters on Aug. 4. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that the state's second phase of reopening is "postponed indefinitely" in response to a modest increase in coronavirus cases.

The big picture: The state is reporting more COVID-19 deaths than most others across the U.S. outside of domestic epicenters like California, or previous hotspots including New Jersey and New York, per a New York Times database.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."