Mike Pence immediately fist-bumps crowd without mask after RNC speech

Vice president heads White House coronavirus task force

Andrew Buncombe
Thursday 27 August 2020 04:35 BST
Mike Pence fist-bumps crowd without mask after RNC speech

Mike Pence – head of the White House coronavirus task force – immediately started fist-bumping with members of the audience following his RNC speech, all the time without wearing a face mask.

As figures showed more than 5.8m Americans had been infected with the coronavirus and that at least 180,000 had lost their lives, the vice president defended the Trump administration’s widely criticised response to the pandemic.

“Before the first case of coronavirus spread within the United States, President Trump took the unprecedented step of suspending all travel from China,” he said.

“That action saved an untold number of American lives. And bought us time to launch the greatest national mobilisation since World War II. President Trump marshalled the full resources of the federal government and directed us to forge seamless partnerships with governors across America in both parties.”

Kellyanne Conway speaks at the Republican National Convention
Kellyanne Conway speaks at the Republican National Convention (Getty Images)

After completing his remarks, which appeared unlikely to stand up to the scrutiny of fact-checkers, Mr Pence was seen walking towards the audience gathered for his speech at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, and fist-bumping with well-wishers

He was also seen standing just a few feet from Donald Trump and Melania, the first lady, none of them wearing masks.

Mike Pence says Joe Biden does not understand 'America is a nation of miracles' as coronavirus deaths pass 180,000

The CDC recommends the use of face masks to prevent the spread of the virus when social distancing is not possible.

Mr Pence also found time to take aim at Democrats.

“As we speak, we’re developing a growing number of treatments, including convalescent plasma that are saving lives all across the country,” he said.

“Last week, Joe Biden said “no miracle is coming”. What Joe doesn’t seem to understand is that America is a nation of miracles and we’re on track to have the world’s first safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.”

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