Karen Pence removed mask at end of VP debate following 'agreement' allowing spouses to walk on stage maskless
'Second Lady Karen followed an agreement established between both campaigns prior to the debate,' Kara Brooks, her communications director, said
Countering the criticism she faced after she was seen joining her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, without a mask on stage after the VP debate wrapped up, Karen Pence's office issued a statement clarifying that contrary to what most people saw as a violation of an important Covid-19 safety measure, it was agreed by both parties that the respective spouses of the debate participants will remove their face coverings at the conclusion of the face-off.
"Second Lady Karen followed an agreement established between both campaigns prior to the debate," Kara Brooks, the communications director for the Second Lady, said in a statement obtained by Fox News. "Both sides agreed that the spouses would remove their masks when they walked onto the stage at the end of the debate.”
We had previously reported that the coronavirus safety rules dictated by debate moderator Susan Price before the event clearly stated social distancing restrictions and that everyone in the audience must wear a mask. Also, if anyone except for the candidates failed to wear a mask, they would be escorted out of the arena. Karen did have a mask on when she was seated in the audience and listening to the debate.
However, when the respective spouses of the candidates joined them on stage at the conclusion of the debate to wave at the audience, Karen took off her mask. Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris' husband, Douglas Emhoff, notably had his nose and mouth covered as he stood beside his wife.
If such an agreement between the two parties was indeed struck, as suggested by Karen's office, it was unclear as to why Emhoff decided to keep his mask on when he joined Harris on the stage.
The fact did not go unnoticed by the media. Following the debate, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow slammed her inability to follow rules, pointing out that Pence had worked in close proximity with President Donald Trump who contracted the virus last week. "His wife did not wear a mask when she was on-stage at the end. Everybody other than the candidates and the moderator were supposed to be wearing a mask. Karen Pence was not wearing a mask at the end," said Maddow.
"You know what? You could save lives if you would do that. You might, in fact, be saving somebody's life in the room right now if, in fact, your husband was exposed to a Covid-infected person in the past week, which he was."
Utah state Rep Angela Romero, who was a guest of Harris, called out Karen for removing her mask after the debate. "I wish she would have had a mask on. All of us were required to have a mask on. Sen. Harris' husband had a mask on," Romero, a Democrat, told Fox News in an interview on Thursday, October 8. "She didn’t have a mask on but I wish she would have."
Karen not wearing a mask at the end of the event definitely played in favor of the Democrats, especially after Harris blamed Trump during the debate for poorly handling the coronavirus outbreak, while Pence insisted that Trump listened to health experts and his early decision to restrict travel to China saved lives.