Pence skips public health recommended self-quarantine but does change plans after staff outbreak

Olivia Troye, a former staffer on Vice President Mike Pence's coronavirus task force, tells CNN's Wolf Blitzer that she isn't surprised members of Pence's team have contracted Covid-19 and that she still worries that Pence "isn't out of the woods."

Posted: Oct 25, 2020 8:05 PM
Updated: Oct 26, 2020 1:15 PM


Vice President Mike Pence, despite flouting public health guidelines by still campaigning after being exposed to people testing positive with coronavirus, is taking some precautions on the road.

At least five aides, including his bodyman and Marc Short, his chief of staff, tested positive, but Pence insists on maintaining an aggressive campaign schedule in the final week of the race. So far, Pence has tested negative for Covid, according to CNN reporting.

His decision to press ahead with travel plans that will have him crisscrossing the country runs contrary to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that recommend self-quarantine in the event of close contact with a Covid-19-positive person. And the move has drawn scrutiny given Pence's role as head of the White House coronavirus task force.

According to the CDC, individuals should quarantine if they have been in 'close contact' with another person who has Covid-19 -- if a person was 'within 6 feet of someone who has Covid-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more.'

Pence will not do any rope lines or greetings with supporters after his campaign speeches over the next few days and will simply leave after he makes remarks, a person familiar with the plans said. The vice president typically does between one and three local interviews in the battleground states that he visits, but will not be allowing any for the next few days as well.

He will travel with a 'much more slimmed-down team' given that Short and other aides have tested positive for the virus, his press secretary is quarantining and his communications director is at the end of her pregnancy. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN on Sunday that Pence had also committed to wearing a mask during his travels except when he is speaking onstage -- previously, a maskless Pence has been a frequent sight on the campaign trail to date.

Pence was also scheduled to preside over the final confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is poised to become a Supreme Court Justice on Monday. However, an aide said Pence would only go to the Senate if his vote was needed as a tie-breaker due to his campaign schedule.

Democrats had demanded Pence stay away from Capitol Hill due to his proximity to someone sickened by the virus.

Last week in Tallahassee, Pence said he intended to preside over the vote.

'The Senate is going to finish their work on Monday and you know, as vice president, I am president of the Senate. And I'm going to be in that chair cause because I would not miss that vote for the world,' he said then.

Pence hit the road the day after Short tested positive for the virus, speaking in North Carolina amid criticism of the White House's decision to deem him 'essential personnel' who does not need to quarantine despite the diagnosis of his close contact. He was set to travel to Minnesota on Monday, after testing negative for the virus on both Sunday and Monday.

A close adviser to Pence, Marty Obst, tested positive for Covid earlier last week after coming into contact with some of Pence's team. Obst is not a government employee. Although four other aides have tested positive, the person familiar with the situation said all but Short tested positive while quarantining after contact tracing was conducted in the wake of Obst's diagnosis.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1114524

Reported Deaths: 18726
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3645207438
San Bernardino845311129
Riverside806761400
San Diego71648968
Orange696941554
Kern38316445
Fresno35973471
Sacramento33133546
Santa Clara30676463
Alameda27485499
San Joaquin24649503
Contra Costa22412258
Stanislaus20370416
Tulare19752303
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Imperial15053353
San Francisco14445158
Monterey13886113
San Mateo13203169
Sonoma11428155
Merced10986176
Santa Barbara10922133
Kings1003886
Solano934980
Marin7518128
Placer577867
Madera571480
San Luis Obispo561835
Yolo419975
Shasta409542
Santa Cruz389827
Butte366459
Napa275717
Sutter263813
El Dorado19304
San Benito174115
Yuba173210
Lassen14803
Tehama143523
Mendocino138522
Nevada10189
Lake83218
Glenn8296
Humboldt7309
Tuolumne7088
Colusa6426
Mono4993
Siskiyou4951
Amador45016
Calaveras43421
Inyo28316
Del Norte2731
Plumas1770
Trinity1130
Modoc1110
Mariposa1042
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