May 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mike Pence: "I should've worn a mask" when visiting Mayo Clinic

Vice President Mike Pence admitted during a Fox News town hall Sunday night that he should have worn a mask when visiting the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, last week — a move that violated the clinic's policy and sparked widespread backlash.

Driving the news: Pence initially said he did not wear a mask because CDC guidelines note that masks are helpful for preventing those who have the virus from spreading it. As VP, he's regularly tested for the coronavirus, and everyone around him is also tested.

  • However, he walked back that statement on Sunday, conceding that he "didn't think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic."
  • Two days after visiting the Mayo Clinic, Pence wore a mask when touring a General Motors ventilator plant in Indiana, which he noted during Sunday's interview.

Go deeper

Mitch McConnell: There's no stigma attached to wearing a mask

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell puts on a mask after speaking to the press on Capitol Hill on May 19. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday encouraged people to wear face masks during the coronavirus pandemic, hours before the U.S. COVID-19 death toll surpassed 100,000, per Politico.

Why it matters: President Trump has been resisted wearing face coverings in public and ridiculed Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden for doing so this week. But McConnell reportedly sided with CDC guidelines during a Kentucky event to deliver his message to young people. "There's no stigma attached to wearing a mask," he said, per Politico. "There’s no stigma attached to staying six feet apart." McConnell has also taken to posting images to Instagram in recent days of himself wearing a mask.

Go deeper: CDC issues guidelines for reopening offices: Masks, handshake bans and more

12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,722,859 — Total deaths: 356,435 — Total recoveries — 2,374,387Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,702,911 — Total deaths: 100,576 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Business: U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter — 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
  4. States: America's megacities could lose economic growth due to remote work.
  5. 2020: Joe Biden to speak virtually at Texas Democratic Convention.
  6. ✈️Transportation: What airlines are offering passengers to ensure social distancing.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

CDC issues guidelines for reopening offices: Masks, handshake bans and more

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on Wednesday detailing how office buildings can reopen following months of social distancing amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

What they're saying: The guidance outlines steps for employers to ensure they "create a safe and healthy workplace and protect workers and clients." The CDC urged caution and careful planning before bringing workers back to office buildings.