More than 100 choir members at a church where Vice President Pence attended a rally in Texas could be seen singing without masks on Sunday, just days after the state’s governor announced he would be reimplementing certain restrictions in the state following a surge in coronavirus cases.
In footage of the event, which CNN reported was held at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Pence could be seen wearing a mask, clapping along with other members of the audience to the choir’s performance. According to the news network, the choir performed multiple times during the event without the masks, which they would reportedly put on when they took their seats.
The event, dubbed the “Celebrate Freedom Rally,” reportedly drew upward of 2,000 people to the church, which has a capacity of about 3,000, on Sunday. About half of those in attendance were reportedly seen wearing masks, which CNN reported had been encouraged.
A choir — with more than 100 singers — performs without masks at an event attended by VP Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceChoir of more than 100 people sings without masks at Pence event in Texas Pence says leaders of Black Lives Matter movement have ‘radical left’ agenda Cuomo: Trump administration ‘in denial’ about coronavirus ‘problem’ MORE, who is wearing a mask. pic.twitter.com/8aZYk9CB86
— The Hill (@thehill) June 28, 2020
While Pence could be seen in footage wearing a mask during the choir’s performance, he reportedly was seen removing his mask when he got up to deliver remarks.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.
During his remarks, Pence reportedly praised Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) “courageous and compassionate leadership.”
“Working with your governor, we will put the health of the people of the Lone Star State first, and every single day we will continue to reclaim or freedom and our way of life, as each day we are one day closer to the day we put this pandemic in the past, and when we do, with this governor and this president, we will bring Texas and America back bigger and better than ever before,” he said.
The event comes two days after Abbott announced the state would be closing bars and certain outdoor recreation businesses in efforts to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus after the state reported a flare-up in cases after lifting restrictions.
According to the latest state health data, more than 148,720 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, have been reported in Texas so far as well as more than 2,300 deaths and more than 79,000 recoveries.