Let’s cut right to the chase. Vice President Mike Pence — in a jaw-dropping, foolish move — did not wear a protective mask this week when he visited Mayo Clinic, despite the facility’s strict policy mandating them because of the coronavirus pandemic.
One health care worker described Pence’s sans-mask visit as “dangerous and disrespectful.”
Esquire’s Charles Pierce was not as kind:
Mike Pence’s inexcusable stroll, unmasked, through the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday. (Why the clinic let him through the door without a mask is another question entirely.) When asked about this grotesque breach of protocol, the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force replied, according to The Week:
“As Vice President of the United States, I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus,” Pence said later Tuesday, citing CDC guidance that says masks help stop people who have the coronavirus from spreading it. “I thought it would 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.“
Yes, that is the vice president* of the United States, and the White House point man on the greatest public-health crisis in a century, admitting that he doesn’t know the difference between a mask and a blindfold. It makes a public mockery of everything Pence and his task force allegedly are doing. It makes a mockery of all the people who have upended their lives on his advice.
OK, so Mike Pence is a bag of hammers. We’ve known that for years. But it’s hard not to conclude that his boneheaded recklessness on Tuesday was prompted by Pence’s desire to prove to the president*, who’s already said he won’t wear a mask because it poses a danger to his perpetually threatened manhood, that Pence is on the team. In other words, Pence didn’t have the simple decency to appear masked in a hospital clinic in the middle of a pandemic because, in this administration*, simple decency is an act of courage beyond Mike Pence’s capabilities. He has the gallows in one eye and Nikki Haley in the other.
Just 186 days until the November election, folks. Tick tock.
The New Yorker’s Bill McKibben “Passed the Mic” to NDP Chair Jane Kleeb in an article this week headlined “How to Combat Climate Depression.”
Q: You’re in charge of the Nebraska Democratic Party. What’s the mood among activists out on the prairies, as you head into the state’s primary, especially after looking north to Wisconsin’s election earlier this month?
A: We are nervous, scared, and worried that no one is looking out for us. Governor [Pete] Ricketts is keeping the polls open here on May 12th, and we never had a stay-at-home order. In one of our communities with a larger meatpacking plant, around 50 percent of the people who have been tested are confirmed to have COVID-19. But, because the Democratic Party has largely ignored rural communities for the last 30 years, we do not have enough Democrats elected at the state and federal level to give voice to the issues that affect rural communities.
The dates have been set for Democratic county conventions across Nebraska from May 17 through the 31st. See when yours is here.
The county conventions, where we elect local leaders and delegates to the state convention, will be done via phone due to the coronavirus.
- The conventions are open to any registered Democrat.
- You must register here by 5 p.m. CT TODAY to receive the call information.
- If you would like to run for a county level position, please fill out the form by 5 p.m. CT TODAY.
- If you would like to run to be a delegate for the national convention, please fill out the additional form by May 26.
There are more than 550 Democrats running for office in Nebraska for the May 12 Primary!
We have created Voting Cards for the four largest counties that list all the Democratic candidates to help folks fill out their ballot:
The Nebraska Democratic Party is focused on making sure our elections are accessible and that the public is safe during the pandemic. We have shifted the majority of our resources to help candidates campaign in a new virtual world and assist voters to Vote by Mail.
Click here to sign up to make calls and send texts for candidates.
We leave you this week with a rendering by Steve Kelley on the tribulations faced by folks staying home during the pandemic.
—By Kevin O’Hanlon/NDP Communications Director
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NOTE: All of the NDP’s in-person events have been postponed until further notice. Check our Facebook page and website for updates. If you had planned to attend any non-NDP events, we urge you to check with the organizers on the status.