"My Next Guest Needs No Introduction" host David Letterman criticized Vice President Pence on Wednesday over photographs from the day before that showed him visiting the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota without wearing a mask.
Letterman said during an interview with SiriusXM host Howard Stern that Pence’s decision not to wear a face covering at the medical facility, where visitors are required to, was “taunting” patients with the coronavirus.
“Now if you go to the Mayo Clinic because you have COVID-19, you really have it," Letterman said during the interview, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported on his comments.
"[Pence] takes time off from his gig as a mannequin, and he's walking around without a mask taunting these poor people who are bedridden and wearing a mask,” the former "Late Show" host added. “To me, that is just taunting people who are ill, to see that guy walking around in his $40 suit walking around in the Mayo Clinic without a mask."
He described Pence, the former governor of Letterman's home state of Indiana, as "particularly a thorn in my side."
Pence has defended his decision not to wear a face covering during his visit, saying that as vice president he and those around him are tested regularly.
"And since I don't have the coronavirus, I thought it'd 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," the vice president told reporters Tuesday.
Pence was the only individual spotted without a mask during his visit to the Mayo Clinic. While there, he participated in a tour and held a roundtable discussion with physicians, nurses and researchers.