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The Vice President Says He Didn’t Wear a Mask So That He Could Look People in the Eye

 From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:

“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.“—Mike Pence at the Mayo Clinic

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.