A spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence shot down reporting from a Huffington Post journalist who reported that he and Second Lady Karen Pence did not wear masks at Sunday’s visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
NASA has made its first operational SpaceX Crew Dragon launch, marking an important milestone for the space program.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:27 p.m. ET Sunday. Shortly after launch, the first-stage booster rocket separated from Crew Dragon. It touched down on a drone ship floating in the Atlantic Ocean about 10 minutes after liftoff.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft, which was named Resilience by the crew, will reach the International Space Station around 11 p.m. ET Monday.
The Pences were there to witness the launch, but according to Huffington Post senior political reporter Jennifer Bendery, they were not wearing masks amid the national spike of coronavirus cases.
“A source at NASA just fumed about Mike Pence and Karen Pence hanging around the Kennedy Space Center without masks for the SpaceX launch on Sunday. Did they at least wear masks for part of the time? ‘Of course not,'” Bendery tweeted on Tuesday.
Pence’s Communications Director Katie Miller fired back at Bendery’s reporting by sharing several photos of the Pences’ visit at the Kennedy Space Center, showing them interacting with staff while wearing masks.
“Hey @jbendery, you should get a better source,” Miller told the reporter.
Bendery responded to Miller, “Ooo touché!” but then appeared to attempt to move the goal post.
“Little more detail from NASA source: Pence was in the VIP briefing on Sunday — away from press, away from cameras — not wearing a mask. Masks were mandatory in there. Officials took them off to speak but put them back on after. Pence went without the entire time.”
That detail notably does not back up the alleged source’s initial claim that the Pences did not “at least wear masks part of the time.”
Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this report.