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Objection raised to Vice President's failure to wear mask at Mayo Clinic

Appearances matter. That was the thought of Dr. Nancy Nielsen as she was watching the news earlier this week when Vice President Mike Pence visited the Mayo Clinic. Officials were wearing masks in accordance to the facility's guidelines. The Vice President was not."It looked like it was obsequious deference to a non-science attitude at a time when infection controls are crucial," Nielsen said during her weekly appearance on WBFO.

A former President of the American Medical Association, Nielsen says she hasn't visited the Mayo Clinic, but she's familiar with its mission. 

"I served on a national task force with a former CEO of Mayo and we spent a lot of time talking about their commitment at that institution to the best of medical science and to the highest quality," Nielsen recalled. 

"So, I was actually appalled when I saw on the news that the Vice President (Mike Pence) had visited Mayo and would not wear a mask, essentially defying their order for everyone to wear a mask."

While the feeling may have been shared by many viewers, Nielsen made her feelings known as a professional.

"So, I wrote to the current CEO of Mayo, Dr. Farrugia, and I basically told him how disappointed I was at that and that I thought it was his responsibility to not have allowed that to happen."

The Vice President appearing without a mask sent the wrong message: "Rules don't apply to everybody."

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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.