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The SiriusXM host said he knew some listeners did not like to hear him talk about politics, but he is so upset by the way Donald Trump’s White House has handled the novel coronavirus pandemic response, it was unavoidable.
The former Late Show host told Stern that Pence’s move to not wear a mask at the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday was “particularly a thorn in my side” because he used to be the governor of Indiana, Letterman’s home state.
The renowned medical facility requires all visitors to wear masks to avoid potentially spreading the virus. Pence, who leads the White House’s coronavirus task force, defended his decision by saying he has been tested regularly. President Trump previously said he will not wear a mask.
Letterman, who noted the wife of his former musical director Paul Shaffer was hospitalized with COVID-19, lambasted Pence for the move.
“Now if you go to the Mayo Clinic because you have COVID-19, you really have it,” Letterman said. “[Pence] takes time off from his gig as a mannequin, and he’s walking around without a mask taunting these poor people who are bedridden and wearing a mask. To me, that is just taunting people who are ill, to see that guy walking around in his $40 suit walking around in the Mayo Clinic without a mask.”
Letterman joked that he had intel that Trump would not wear a mask because his aides couldn’t figure out how to attach it to his hair.
Stern made headlines on Monday for criticizing Trump and his supporters after the president last week suggested Americans inject disinfectant to kill the coronavirus. Trump later said he was being “sarcastic.” Stern said Trump’s diehard supporters should all follow his advice and drink disinfectant.
6:27 a.m.: Updated with information from a rep for Letterman clarifying only Shaffer’s wife had COVID-19.
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Robert De Niro