Coronavirus task force head Mike Pence has done a stellar job of handling the pandemic: that is if his main purpose in the role is to help the virus spread very quickly. Take, for instance, his “Celebrate Freedom Rally” in Dallas on Sunday, which included a 100-plus person choir performing ... in an enclosed space ... without masks ... I am screaming.
CNN reports that nearly 2,200 attended the rally located *indoors* at Dallas’s First Baptist Church. Though masks were “strongly encouraged,” they were not required, and only half the crowd had them on. The choir singers sang unmasked, even though scientists suspect that activities that expel breath forcefully, like loud talking, yelling, or singing, could accelerate the virus’s spread quickly. Indeed, at the beginning of the pandemic, a choir practice in Washington turned into a super-spreader event, after 87 percent of the 122 singers in attendance contracted the virus. Two attendees died.
Meanwhile, Texas is experiencing a major surge in cases, so much so that last week Governor Greg Abbott closed bars and begged residents to stay at home as much as possible. The virus is circulating at a high rate, 2,200 is a lot of people, and 122 singers spewing saliva all at once is a recipe for disaster.
As for Pence, he did wear a mask. Sort of (emphasis mine):
When Pence arrived at the event, he was wearing a mask. Sen. John Cornyn,a Texas Republican, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who traveled with the vice president, also wore masks. Pence said in an interview that aired Sunday that people should listen to state and local officials on wearing masks in public, adding that “every state has a unique situation.” Pence took off his mask when he began speaking.
Well, he tried.