Mike Pence Draws Ire of Colorado State Senator Over COVID as VP Vacations in Vail

Vice President Mike Pence's vacation in Vail, Colorado drew the ire of a state senator who is using his visit to highlight how the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted her home state.

Pence quietly left Washington, DC as President Donald Trump threatened to tank a pandemic relief bill, risking aid to struggling Americans just as enhanced unemployment benefits were set to expire, before himself jetting off to Palm Beach, Florida.

The vice president's office has yet to comment on his location, but multiple local and national outlets reported that he is currently vacationing in the small ski town.

According to RealVail.com, the vice president is staying at the Lodge at Vail while dozens of Secret Service agents have checked into nearby hotels. NBC News' Amanda Golden reported that Pence arrived in Vail last week and will see in the New Year there.

Colorado State Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Democrat, has been blasting Pence on Twitter ever since it was reported that he was heading to Vail for the holidays.

Good morning @VP / @Mike_Pence. Make sure you pack a mask. You’ll be spending the holidays in a mandatory mask zone. And as you fly into Eagle and drive up valley, you’ll pass by a couple of schools - CO saw it’s first decrease in enrollment since the 80s.

— Kerry Donovan (@KerryDonovanSD5) December 23, 2020

It’s apres ski time @VP / @Mike_Pence ! If a year ago you and your team hadn’t minimized the seriousness of covid-19, we would have been better prepared and possibly could have avoided losing one of our cherished apres ski performers. Our community lost a good friend.

— Kerry Donovan (@KerryDonovanSD5) December 23, 2020

Every day since last Tuesday, Donovan has added to a thread of "things that would be different" if Pence—the chair of the White House coronavirus task force—had "chosen to lead and address and instead of ignore and minimize the COVID-19 pandemic."

"Heard you're visiting my hometown for the holiday," Donovan wrote in the first tweet of the thread, tagging both of Pence's Twitter accounts.

"Stay tuned for a story a day of things that would be different if you had chosen to lead and address and instead of ignore and minimize the COVID-19 pandemic."

A day later, she told Pence, who received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month, to "make sure you pack a mask."

"You'll be spending the holidays in a mandatory mask zone. And as you fly into Eagle and drive up valley, you'll pass by a couple of schools - CO saw it's first decrease in enrollment since the 80s," she wrote.

Christmas in the Rockies is wonderful, right @VP / @mike_pence? For locals, figuring out holidays is feeling harder than ever. Our food bank supports 4 times the number of people it did pre-covid. While you said this would be over by Easter, we tried to fill pantry shelves.

— Kerry Donovan (@KerryDonovanSD5) December 25, 2020

Sunday can mean reflection for many. In the first months of this pandemic the state saw calls to crisis centers increase by 48%. We just lost out 11th neighbor to death by suicide. We needed everyone to step-up in this crisis. You, @VP / @Mike_Pence hid.

— Kerry Donovan (@KerryDonovanSD5) December 27, 2020

In another tweet directed at Pence, Donovan said: "Looking at what to do while you are here? Pls note that an event producer based in Vail had to furlough all their employees & go dark after 26 yrs of producing events across the world & for Vail. No plan from you= they couldn't plan events."

In another tweet in the thread, she continued: "It's apres ski time @VP / @Mike_Pence! If a year ago you and your team hadn't minimized the seriousness of covid-19, we would have been better prepared and possibly could have avoided losing one of our cherished apres ski performers. Our community lost a good friend."

On Christmas morning, Donovan continued her criticism of the vice president. "Christmas in the Rockies is wonderful, right @VP / @mike_pence?" she wrote.

"For locals, figuring out holidays is feeling harder than ever. Our food bank supports 4 times the number of people it did pre-covid. While you said this would be over by Easter, we tried to fill pantry shelves."

On Boxing Day, she urged Pence to make sure to leave "extra big" tips for struggling service workers.

"Planning for a cocktail before dinner tonight?" Donovan tweeted. "It is taking my friends in the service industry 3 times the work to make the same money as a year ago. So make sure you tip extra big-your lack of leadership made this a much longer hardship than it ever had to be."

And on Sunday, she told Pence that calls to crisis centers in Colorado rose by almost half in the first months of the pandemic.

"Sunday can mean reflection for many," she wrote. "We just lost out 11th neighbor to death by suicide. We needed everyone to step-up in this crisis. You, @VP / @Mike_Pence hid."

Donovan and Pence's spokesman have been contacted for additional comment.

Pence
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence receives a COVID-19 vaccine to promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine at the White House on December, 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images