Masks were optional, but legal waivers were required at Vice President Mike Pence’s rally Tuesday in Waukesha.
Around 400 supporters showed up to see the vice president’s speech at The Ingleside Hotel, but only about 250 were allowed inside the ballroom where he gave his speech. Others were put in an overflow room to accommodate for social distancing requirements at the hotel.
Pence returned to Wisconsin to launch his ‘Faith in America’ tour in an effort to re-elect President Trump, but he spent most of his time at the podium touting the president’s efforts to contain the coronavirus. Pence believes it’s time to fully reopen America to rebuild the economy.
“State’s just like Wisconsin are opening back up again,” he said. “What I’ve seen is we love freedom.”
The pandemic was top of mind for supporters as they had their temperatures checked before entering the rally. Attendees also had to agree not to sue the president’s campaign or the venue if they contract coronavirus and it’s traced back to the event.
“I don’t think it’s necessary, but I’m OK with doing it just because I want to get in and see him,” said supporter Joshua Thompson.
Greg Millen of Waukesha also thought the precautions were too much.
“I’m afraid that a lot of people just still live in fear rather than accepting the fact that this is manageable and it matures itself and moves on,” Millen said.
Seats inside the hotel ballroom were placed about 4 feet apart for social distancing. Hand sanitizers and masks were also made available to attendees, however very few wore them inside.
I’ll do the social distancing, but no mask,” said Veronica Diaz.
During the vice president’s rally, dozens of protesters lined the property outside calling for racial equality after the death of George Floyd. Pence called Floyd’s death a tragedy, but he says President Trump will not stand for looting or efforts to defund police.