Vice President Mike Pence suddenly canceled all of his scheduled speaking events in Indiana on October 9 in order to fly back to Washington D.C., according to Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire. The change has caused a firestorm of speculation on Twitter and questions about why he canceled a visit to his home state.
After appearing with an irritated red eye during the 2020 vice presidential debate on Wednesday night, October 7, many Twitter users wondered if he had tested positive for COVID-19 or started to show more symptoms of coronavirus, which would force him to abruptly quarantine. VOA News reporter Steve Herman tweeted, “Friday trip by @VP to his home state of #Indiana has been cancelled. No explanation yet.”
However, the announcement that Pence was canceling the next day’s events occurred while he was travelling to give speeches in Nevada and Arizona. If Pence was ill, it seems likely that these events on October 8 would have been canceled, as well.
Pence, 61, has not tested positive for coronavirus, though several White House staff members have, including President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday night, Twitter users wondered if Pence was showing signs of coronavirus or a different type of infection due to his red eye. People asked if Pence had been punched in the face and compared him to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character after he was shot in the eye.
Actor Josh Gad tweeted, “Look, I don’t like Pence either but I don’t think it was necessary for Trump to hit him in the eye before the debate.” Author Saeed Jones tweeted, “That red eye got Pence looking like an albino squirrel. #VPDebate.”
Before the first hour of the debate was over, a new Twitter account popped up called “Pence’s Bloodshot Eye.” The account tweeted, “F***. Who has some Visine?”
People Speculated on Twitter That Pence Might Be Returning to D.C. to Discuss the 25th Amendment With Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that she would be introducing legislation on October 9 in order to establish a “Commission on Presidential Capacity,” which would clarify the transition of powers under the 25th Amendment, according to NBC News.
Pelosi’s statement said that this commission would “help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership in the highest office in the Executive Branch of government.”
On Friday, Pelosi will hold a news conference with Representative Jamie Raskin, a constitutional law expert, at the Capitol. “We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment,” Pelosi said. When asked if this commission was spurred by Trump’s hospitalization after testing positive for COVID-19, “If you want to talk about that, we’ll see you tomorrow,” Pelosi answered.
Pence’s Staff Said the Cancellation Was ‘to Prevent Burnout’ Given His ‘Weekend Schedule’
Politico reporter Gabby Orr tweeted on Thursday, “Pence tested negative for Covid-19 this morning. Staff says the change is meant to prevent burnout given the @VP’s weekend schedule, travel plans next week and late-night arrival back in DC this evening.”
READ NEXT: Where Is Trump? The Lincoln Project Fuels Speculation After 2-Day Absence