Goooood question. The health commissioner in Tulsa spent the week before the rally all but begging Trump not to go through with it. Pence’s message today when he was asked at a coronavirus briefing about the importance of wearing masks was to say simply, “We think that the first principle is that people ought to listen to their state and local authorities,” which is the best he could do under the circumstances knowing Trump’s skepticism about mask-wearing.
But Paula Reid of CBS was ready for that. If we’re supposed to listen to local authorities, why didn’t Trump listen to Tulsa’s health commissioner?
Pence is an old pro and by now an expert at ducking awkward questions about Trump but even he couldn’t muster much of an answer to that. This is an almost total non-response except for the bit at the beginning reminding everyone that people have a constitutional right to attend rallies, which is a silly defense.