Since Thursday, Donald Trump has been known to have contracted COVID-19 and an additional 23 people who attended an event celebrating the nomination to the Supreme Court of Amy Coney Barrett have also contracted the virus. Instead of quarantining, Trump has attended a fundraiser after knowing he had been exposed to the virus, gone for joyrides around Walter Reed hospital after it was confirmed that he contracted it, and Vice President Mike Pence told Twitter that he had been in close contact with Trump following his exposure to the virus.
Does Pence have pink eye? Covid symptom alert pic.twitter.com/eFovDdNHiS
— ScienceisReal (@ilovemaps_) October 8, 2020
It is no wonder, then, that after Pence showed up to the vice presidential debate with a red, swollen eye, that debate viewers would notice it and wonder where it’s a sign that he, too, has the virus. Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “pink eye,” is a rare symptom of the virus, and Twitter is abuzz with speculation about it.
According to WebMD:
‘Based on data so far, doctors believe that 1%-3% of people with COVID-19 will get conjunctivitis, also called pinkeye. It happens when the virus infects a tissue called conjunctiva, which covers the white part of your eye or the inside of your eyelids..’
— clarence ting (@delicioustings) October 8, 2020
It is presumed that Pence was tested prior to the debate, although Donald Trump showed up late enough to his debate with Joe Biden to be tested and made it onto a stage with his opponent just two days before being confirmed to have the virus. Conjunctivitis can be caused by many other things, so the conjecture may be premature.
‘If you have conjunctivitis, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The more likely causes are the many different viruses, bacteria, chemicals, and allergens that can irritate your eyes.’
What’s wrong with Pence’s eye? Anyone else seeing this?
— Lady Liviana 🌊 (@RomulanX) October 8, 2020
However, it’s more than understandable that people would react to any indication that Pence may have contracted COVID-19. After all, the Trump/Pence administration has been blatantly ignoring the guidelines from the CDC and putting others at risk since the virus was first discovered and guidelines written.