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Mike Pence’s left eye as well a plucky fly landing on the vice president’s head then remaining in situ for several minutes became hot topics on social media during the comparatively civil vice presidential debate Wednesday night.
Pence’s left eye appeared to be bloodshot, and in light of the outbreak of COVID-19 at the White House over the past week, Twitter lit up with journalists, epidemiologists, doctors and Hollywood stars wondering if the vice president had conjunctivitis (pink eye), one of the symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
Thousands of people, including the likes of former news anchor Katie Couric and former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, openly questioned whether the vice president had conjunctivitis and linked to medical articles and news articles on pink eye being a possible symptom of COVID-19.
At least 27 people in President Donald Trump’s orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus amid an outbreak at the White House. Pence has thus far tested negative.
With the debate between Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris proceeding in a relatively civil manner, in comparison to the first presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden, social media was looking for any distraction to talk about.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 8, 2020
Later in the debate, Pence’s eye was vying with a fly landing on the vice president’s head for several minutes as part of the more light-hearted Twitter conversation around the debate. Along with becoming a fundraising point for the Biden campaign, which immediately starting selling “Truth Over Flies” fly swatters for $10, the fly inspired a slew of brand-new tribute Twitter accounts and was even brought up on the news network’s post-debate coverage. CNN anchor Jake Tapper marvelled at the fly remaining still for so long and over on MSNBC, Nicole Wallace was a little pithier, saying: “[Mike Pence] didn’t get rid of the fly, the fly left because it got bored.”
VP Pence has conjunctivitis. Viral conjunctivitis? Not a terrific sign in someone recently exposed to a viral pathogen. pic.twitter.com/3QmAKG8IsW
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) October 8, 2020
Pink eye is a symptom of Covid-19. Saying that for no reason at all.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) October 8, 2020
'Pink Eye' Often a Symptom of COVID-19 https://t.co/JYl1aWhVNv
— Meredith Salenger (@MeredthSalenger) October 8, 2020
???? “Pink Eye' Often a Symptom of COVID-19” https://t.co/dKNPxd1Asn
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) October 8, 2020
Yo what’s up with Pence’s eye?
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 8, 2020
Is this what we’re looking at tonight on Pence?
‘Pink Eye' Often a Symptom of COVID-19 https://t.co/FWCLcSlkmH
— Krista Vernoff (@KristaVernoff) October 8, 2020
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) October 8, 2020
Covid-19 can cause conjunctivitis. https://t.co/0KpMixVViB
— Dr. Seema Yasmin (@DoctorYasmin) October 8, 2020
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