Politics

Cramer slams Mike Pence for touring Mayo Clinic without a mask as an 'example of recklessness'

Key Points
  • "Until we get this under control, we can't have the vice president of the United States go to the Mayo Clinic without a mask," CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday.
  • While criticizing Pence, the "Mad Money" host praised Costco for its new policy, starting Monday, requiring all shoppers to wear a face covering in its stores.
  • Cramer said Costco, not the federal government, is setting the standard, referring to the CDC's voluntary recommendation. "Costco is going to be right."
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Jim Cramer calls out VP Pence for not wearing a mask while touring Mayo Clinic

CNBC's Jim Cramer on Thursday morning blasted Vice President Mike Pence for not wearing a coronavirus mask while touring the Mayo Clinic earlier this week.

"Until we get this under control, we can't have the vice president of the United States go to the Mayo Clinic without a mask because that sets an example of recklessness," Cramer said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

Pence, who leads President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, suggested to reporters that he did not need to wear a mask because he is tested regularly for Covid-19 and does not have it.

Cramer's criticism of the vice president came as the "Mad Money" host praised Costco for its new policy, starting Monday, requiring all shoppers to wear a face covering in its stores. The retailer already requires its employees to wear masks.

"I think this will be the standard of care two weeks from now," Cramer said, reporting from CNBC headquarters in New Jersey. "I think anyone walking around here or any other place without a mask is going to be considered a health hazard."

Cramer said Costco, not the federal government, is setting the standard. "Costco is going to be right."

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised people to use a cloth face covering to protect against the coronavirus. The CDC recommendation, however, was voluntary.

"I know it'll be considered a violation of all your civil liberties" to require masks, Cramer acknowledged. "I really don't care. This is about a national health emergency."

"Remember what this is about is protecting others, not yourself," he added, "I understand you have every right to be selfish about yourself. This is being selfish about others."

The White House was not immediately available for comment.

Two days after the Mayo Clinic controversy, Pence wore a mask during Thursday afternoon's visit to an Indiana facility making ventilators.

Pence was touring the General Motors plant in Kokomo with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and GM CEO Mary Barra, all of whom were also wearing masks.

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VP Mike Pence visits Mayo Clinic, but does not wear face mask