Experts: COVID-exposed Pence putting others at risk as he continues to campaign for Trump

Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Marc Short entered isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, but his boss did just the opposite. On Saturday, Pence headlined two rallies in Florida and then continued his campaigning by visiting Kinston, North Carolina. On Monday, Pence continued his tour through Hibbing, Minn. for a rally as the number of COVID-19 cases in his inner circle climbed to five.

Asked whether Pence was putting others at risk by campaigning, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that, “the short answer is yes.” Pence should receive frequent tests, maintain physical distance from others and wear a medical-grade N95 mask at all times, Gottlieb said Sunday on CBS News’s Face the Nation.

“There’s ways to try to provide a measure of protection around the vice president or protect other people from the risk if the vice president does contract the infection, but they need to be very explicit about the risk that they’re taking,” he said.

Pence chairs the White House’s coronavirus task force and has repeatedly ignored the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines regarding mask-wearing and social distancing.

In contrast, Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris canceled several days of campaign stops after two people around her tested positive.

Pence has backed down from presiding over a Senate vote on Judge Amy Comey Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court Monday after Senate Democrats urged him to reconsider his attendance.

“With five of your closest aides recently testing positive for COVID-19, it is not a risk worth taking. We ask you to reconsider,” Democratic senators said in a letter to Pence. “Not only would your presence in the Senate Chamber tomorrow be a clear violation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, it would also be a violation of common decency and courtesy.”

“Nothing about your presence in the Senate tomorrow can be considered essential. You will not need to cast the deciding vote to break a tie. Your presence tomorrow would be purely ceremonial,” the senators added.