Vice President Mike Pence defended President Donald Trump on Tuesday at the White House for continuing to shake hands despite fears of the coronavirus.
“As the president has said, in our line of work, you shake hands when someone wants to shake your hand,” Pence said in response to a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta on Tuesday evening at a White House press briefing.
Acosta appeared critical of Trump for shaking hands at a Medal of Freedom ceremony earlier in the day.
“Should the president set that example?” Acosta asked. “What do you make of that, is that necessary?”
Pence said that he was also shaking hands, even though he had utilized the “elbow bump” in some situations, such as his recent greeting with Washington governor Jay Inslee last week.
Pence said that he and the president would continue to shake hands.
“I expect the president will continue to do that, I’ll continue to do it,” he said.
Pence said that the most important thing a person could do to avoid the virus was frequent hand washing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds.
“All the experts tell me that while people want to get the various sanitizing lotions, washing your hands with hot soap and water for 20 seconds is just as good as any lotion that you can buy,” he said.