During a global pandemic, every person has some responsibility to make sure they’re doing as little harm as possible — that is, unless you’re exempt like Vice President Mike Pence. Along with the rest of the Trump administration, Pence has repeatedly failed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic with the care needed — including appearing in public places maskless. Now, he’s trying to turn the tables around… by delivering personal protective equipment (PPE). Except, it seems that's not exactly what happened, according to new audio recording released on Thursday.
In an attempt to help out during a time of crisis, Pence put together boxes of PPE for those in need at a hospital. The video shows Pence wheeling boxes of PPE into a healthcare facility, all while he isn’t wearing a mask, to be sure.
However, Pence was caught on mic talking about how the move was merely a public relations stunt, and there was nothing in the boxes to begin with — which Jimmy Kimmel had fun airing on his show. “Can I carry the empty ones, just for the camera?” Pence is caught asking, unaware that his microphone was on and capturing his words. While Kimmel initially tweeted out the short video clip from his May 7 segment, he later deleted it.
Mike Pence caught on hot mic delivering empty boxes of PPE for a PR stunt. pic.twitter.com/IduvGhiPwj— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) May 8, 2020
“Mike Pence pretending to carry empty boxes of PPE into a hospital is the perfect metaphor for who he is and what he’s doing,” Kimmel says at the end of the segment. While nothing has been confirmed yet and Pence has not responded to questions about if all of the boxes were truly empty, this is not the first time that Pence has come under fire for PPE-related offenses, either.
Pence has become notorious for not wearing a mask in public, and he isn’t wearing a mask in this video either. So far, Pence and his family have responded to past uproar about his risky behavior by saying they were unaware that people are meant to wear masks, even though safety guidelines about masks have been made clear.
According to the second lady, Karen Pence, her husband was apparently unaware of the Mayo Clinic’s policy requiring all visitors to wear face masks when he visited. Perhaps he's also been unaware of CDC guidelines every other time he’s decided not to wear one.
Now, it seems he is unaware that microphones WILL pick up audio when you talk into them, especially if you are attempting to deliver empty boxes for a public relations stunt. We don't make the rules.