Mayo Clinic should universally enforce its COVID-19 precautions

Mayo Clinic should universally enforce its COVID-19 precautions

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Lisa Bliss, MD started this petition to Gianrico Farrugia, MD, CEO and President of Mayo Clinic

(Photo credit: Jim Mone / AP)

It is national news that Vice President Mike Pence toured Mayo Clinic on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 to highlight Mayo Clinic's dedication to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 during the present COVID-19 pandemic.

As physicians on the front lines, or as back-up reinforcements for front-line workers, we are proud of Mayo Clinic and other notable hospitals for their role in fighting this pandemic. However, as physicians and front-line healthcare workers, we are disappointed that Vice President Pence, the leader of the Coronavirus Task Force, was permitted entry to the hospital without a face mask. We are also disappointed that the Vice President was permitted to complete the entire tour and even interview healthcare workers while not wearing a mask. It was quite clear in the photographs and video clips that he is the only one who was not following Mayo Clinic's own guidelines, which according to its hospital web page states:

"Please bring your own face mask or covering to wear.
Part of our protocol for ensuring your safety is to require all patients, visitors and staff to wear a face covering or mask while at Mayo Clinic to guard against transmission of COVID-19."

As physicians, we are disappointed that this was allowed to happen. We greatly respect the strain that hospitals have been under during this pandemic, and we expect the Mayo Clinic to greatly respect the healthcare workers across our nation who have been under tremendous strain during this pandemic. Images of our Vice President reached a national audience, and we believe that the Mayo Clinic has been complicit in enabling non-compliance of its own pandemic guidelines, and we are concerned that this may set a precedent for other hospitals and organizations and may also put hospital workers, patients, and the public at unnecessary increased risk of infection. The nationally respected Mayo Clinic should have demanded that COVID-19 pandemic precautions be applied universally. Allowing exceptions sends the wrong message to the public.

We ask that Mayo Clinic 1) acknowledge our concerns, and 2) send a message to the public that conveys that the Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 precautions are universal.

We thank all the Mayo Clinic healthcare workers and hospital staff for their tireless work in fighting this pandemic.

Sincerely,

US Physicians and healthcare workers

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