VICE President Mike Pence’s rally in Minnesota drew crowds exceeding the state’s COVID-19 protocols on Monday afternoon.
According to reporters traveling with Pence’s campaign, “Hibbing police confirmed more than 650 people in attendance, exceeding Minnesota health guidelines to restrict crowds to 250 people.”
While smaller than the thousands of Trump supporters who typically show up for such events, Pence’s appearance still breached Minnesota’s reopening plan, which states outdoor events should have social distancing of at least six feet and not exceed 250 people.
Jennifer Carnahan, chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, defended the rally, saying it wasn’t the GOP that was ignoring the guidelines but Minnesotans who wanted to see the vice president.
Pence’s campaign stop in the Iron Range comes two days after at least five of his aides, including chief of staff Marc Short, tested positive for COVID-19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines state anyone who’s been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive should quarantine for 14 days.
Health experts and others have urged Pence, head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, to quarantine given his close contact with the individuals.
His event in northeastern Minnesota went on as scheduled after the White House announced both the vice president and second lady Karen Pence tested negative on Monday.