Vice President Mike Pence is praising Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic’s response to COVID-19.   Pence toured Mayo Clinic Tuesday and learned more about efforts to ramp up testing capabilities during a roundtable discussion.

“I will leave here today inspired and encouraged that we’re one step closer to reopening our country and healing our land because of the work you’re doing here.”

Pence was told Mayo has already performed 150-thousand coronavirus tests and that 90 percent of patients treated in Rochester are enrolled in clinical trials to find possible treatments. The vice president got a lot of attention for not wearing a mask which is required for Mayo Clinic staff and visitors. Pence said in a statement, “As Vice President of the United States I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus.”

“When I hear about the innovation that’s been developed here and the opportunity to scale some of the new tests that you’ve developed here at the Mayo Clinic, I know that we’ve only just begun to expand new platforms of testing around the country. And it will be following to the ingenuity, the creativity and the expertise of the extraordinary men and women here at Mayo Clinic.”