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Friday, May 8, 2020

In one event, the entire Trump pandemic debacle gets summed up

Empty boxes, empty response, empty suit.

On May 7 (Thursday), Mike Pence visited the Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Alexandria, Virginia, to deliver a load of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Setting aside how late in the game it is for anyone in the Trump administration to be setting up a photo op delivering the critical supplies healthcare professionals have been in desperate need of for months now, it is astonishing how careless Pence and his team were in dispensing the goods. 

From the moment they arrived, they violated all the CDC guidelines.

Their actions were particularly egregious as they were visiting a nursing home, with the highest at-risk demographic of them all, only one or two days after a U.S. Navy service member who is detailed to the president himself tested positive for the virus.

UPDATE: Today (Friday), a member of Pence's own staff has tested positive for COVID-19. Pence was about to take off for a flight to Iowa when the word arrived. That led to several VP staffers needing to leave the plane because they had had contact with the infected staffer.

Nevertheless, not a single person involved in the delivery was wearing a mask. Nobody from the facility, nobody from Mike Pence’s team. Nobody bothered to practice social distancing.

They stood together, sans masks, for the photo op.

But, that wasn’t the worst of it. It seems Mike Pence was wearing a microphone for the photo/video op and Jimmy Kimmel’s team caught a conversation that didn’t make it in the news clips seen widely on Thursday.

After Mike Pence bravely carted over two boxes, he returned to the cargo van for more and that’s when an aide alerted him that the rest of the boxes were empty.

Here is the exact conversation.

Aide: Those are empty, sir. We are good to go.

Mike Pence: Well can I carry the empty ones? Just for the camera?

Aide: Absolutely

And they did. As you can see in the video below, Mike Pence bravely carried through his heroic delivery of empty boxes to a nursing home. 

Empty boxes, empty response, empty suit.

As my colleague Gabe Ortiz noted on Twitter, this would be a resignation-worthy event in any other administration.