A flurry of speculation has surrounded the health of Vice President Mike Pence after he appeared to have pink eye at Wednesday’s debate with Sen. Kamala Harris. A senior Trump administration official told Politico that Pence likely suffered from a broken blood vessel, rather than a pink eye infection.
Pence’s eye problem, as well as a fly that settled on his head, drew attention on social media.
Dr. Daniel Volland, an optometrist based in Seattle, also diagnosed Pence with a broken blood vessel.
“Eye doctor, here! Temporal Subconjunctival Hemorrhage OS is my diagnosis; it’s a broken blood vessel, not infectious,” Volland tweeted.
Although some debate viewers thought Pence’s eye could be a symptom of COVID-19, the vice president tested negative for the virus prior to the event. Pink eye is a rare symptom of a COVID-19 infection.
“The number of COVID-19 patients that have been reported to have eye symptoms is relatively low. And when you have a population that small, it’s really hard to get a picture of the story because we just don’t have as many data points,” optometrist Alexandra Williamson, OD, recently told the Cleveland Clinic.
Pence’s health condition is noteworthy, due to President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis. If Trump were to become incapacitated, Pence would likely have to take over presidential duties per the 25th amendment.
Numerous members of the Trump administration and campaign have been infected with the virus. First lady Melania Trump, campaign manager Bill Stepien, senior adviser for policy Stephen Miller, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are just a few high-profile members of Trump’s inner circle to test positive for COVID-19.