Skip to main content

Mayo Clinic leaders outline testing, research during Pence visit

Vice President Mike Pence visited the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Tuesday.

While Mike Pence's mask-less faux-pas dominated the early headlines out of Rochester on Tuesday, the vice-president left Minnesota with praise for the response to the coronavirus pandemic by the state and its healthcare partners.

Pence visited Mayo Clinic in Rochester Tuesday to learn about the clinic’s COVID-19 testing, treatment and research, and was joined by Gov. Tim Walz and Congressman Jim Hagedorn.

Mayo Clinic President and CEO Gianrico Farrugia gave the officials a tour of the facilities before Mayo leaders went over the clinic’s work and answered questions at a round table.

Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota recently announced a plan to roll out 20,000 tests per day for Minnesotans in the coming weeks, with the state winning praise from Pence for its "whole-of-Minnesota" approach.

“The fact that you’ve made the progress that you’ve made… is a testament I know you would say to the people of Minnesota,” Pence said at the roundtable. “They have our congratulations and our thanks.”

Farrugia said Mayo’s COVID-19 work consists of making sure patients have access to trials, research, testing and practice.

And the hospital's executive dean of Mayo Clinic Practice, Amy Williams, said the clinic has had success reducing the number of ICU deaths thanks in part to new clinical trials.

Mayo is working on nine clinical trials for COVID-19 therapies, said Andrew Badley, an infectious disease specialist at the clinic. Currently, 90 percent of COVID-19 patients in the Mayo system are on a clinical trial, he said.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

One of Mayo’s COVID-19 therapies is convalescent plasma. This therapy takes plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient and transfers it into a sick patient. The antibodies from the recovered patient can help treat the current patient.

Pence also pointed out a federal decision that allows doctors to practice across state lines during the crisis. As Mayo doctors work in hot spots like New York, its telehealth practice has significantly increased.

In fact, Mayo is performing more telehealth practice every day than the entire year of 2019, Farraugia said.

On Monday, 365 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Minnesota, a new single-day record, which comes amid an increase in testing.

Next Up

Javen Juan Moreno

Albert Lea shooting suspect arrested after 3 weeks on the run

He is accused of shooting a man in the upper thigh on May 1.


Motorcyclist, 59, killed after losing control on right curve

The Harley Davidson rider was thrown from his bike.

state capitol Minnesota

Minnesota's 2022 legislative session: What's happening?

A list of items agreed upon and yet to reach any bipartisan agreement in the latest legislative session.

water drain

Water main break floods 40-45 homes in St. Louis Park

The city says the rupture happened on Minnetonka Boulevard.

Eli Hart

Charges: 6-year-old Eli Hart shot up to 9 times by his mother

The 28-year-old is facing 2nd-degree murder charges.

dave lee wcco radio

Former WCCO Radio host Dave Lee moves into podcasts

His new podcast, called 'My First Concert,' launched last week.

Tow Boat

Tow boat collides with Mississippi River lock and dam in Alma, WI

The crash remains under investigation by the United States Coast Guard.

unsplash school bus

Police: Man in minivan approached kids, claimed he was former principal

Investigators say children were approached by a man in a white minivan who falsely claimed he'd been a local school principal.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, May 23

The latest from the state health department.

police tape, crime scene

Police: 2 people shot, 1 fatally over the weekend in La Crosse

Officers arrived to the scene and found one person suffering multiple gunshot wounds.

Bear killed after it attacked couple in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin couple fight, kill bear that broke into their home

The incident happened last week in north-central Wisconsin.

Image from iOS (2)

Urban Outfitters store in Uptown to close

A number of national chains have departed Uptown in recent years.


Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 1.50.15 PM

VP Pence admits he should have worn mask at Mayo Clinic

The vice president's lack of mask overshadowed what Gov. Tim Walz said was a productive visit.

Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 1.50.15 PM

Mayo Clinic says it informed VP Pence of mask policy before visit

Pence was the only dignitary not wearing a mask during the Tuesday visit.

Mayo clinic

Coronavirus: Mayo Clinic set to roll out antibody test next week

But it will be a while before the test is broadly available.

Mike Pence

During visit to MN, Mike Pence says there's a shortage of coronavirus test kits

The vice president has been appointed to lead the Trump Administration's response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Screen Shot 2020-04-14 at 7.29.56 AM

Coronavirus: Mayo Clinic, U of M are now offering antibody tests

Gov. Tim Walz says he wants Minnesota to ramp up its testing before it goes back to work.

Mayo clinic

Mayo Clinic announces pay cuts for one-third of its staff

There will also be furloughs forthcoming from the Rochester institution.

Mayo clinic

Mayo Clinic says it can handle enough tests per day to end MN's shutdown

Gov. Tim Walz set a target of 5,000 tests a day, which the Mayo says it can handle.

coronavirus, pandemic, masks

Coronavirus: Pandemic perspectives from U of M expert, Mayo doctor

A Mayo doctor says 80% of people who get the virus won't even know they have it.