Mike Pence won’t self-isolate despite staffers testing positive for coronavirus, will remain at the White House with Donald Trump, 73

Mike Pence and Donald Trump

US vice president Mike Pence, well known for his anti-LGBT+ views, is not self-isolating despite two White House staffers testing positive for coronavirus within the last week.

Donald Trump told reporters on Friday, May 8, that Pence’s spokesperson, Katie Miller, had tested positive for COVID-19. The day before, Trump’s personal valet also tested positive.

Although there were reports that Pence would be self-quarantined after confirmed contact with an infected person, his office has said that this is not the case, according to Reuters.

The vice president, 60, decided to put “a little distance” between himself and others over the weekend, but plans to be back in the White House with Trump, 73, from Monday.

A spokesperson for Pence said in a statement on Sunday: “Vice president Pence will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Unit and is not in quarantine.

“Additionally, vice president Pence has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House tomorrow.”

As of Saturday, three other White House officials were in self-quarantine after coming into contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19 – Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and US Food and Drug Administration commissioner Stephen Hahn.

Both Mike Pence and Donald Trump have repeatedly refused to abide by their own coronavirus safety guidelines.

Mike Pence came under fire this week when he visited the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and ignored the hospital’s instruction that all visitors wear masks.

The hospital insists that “all patients, visitors and staff wear a face covering or mask to slow the spread of COVID-19”, but a video was released of Pence, the chair of the White House coronavirus task force, visiting patients recovering from the virus with no mask in sight.

Scientist Peter Glick PhD analysed Pence’s behaviour and said that according to his research, his refusal to abide by the hospital’s guidelines comes down to “one critical reason, which is that appearing to play it safe contradicts a core principle of masculinity: show no weakness”. He added: “In short, wearing a mask emasculates.”

Donald Trump has not once publicly appeared wearing a mask. The CDC recommended people wear cloth masks in public an entire month ago.