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Vice-President Mike Pence has appeared without wearing a face mask while visiting the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota despite the medical centre’s own rules that visitors wear personal protective equipment.

In a deleted tweet, the Mayo Clinic said Mike Pence had been notified in advance of its policy requiring masks.

The vice-president leads the White House coronavirus taskforce.

Image source Twitter

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The government’s own coronavirus-prevention advice is that people should wear face coverings “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain”.

The Mayo Clinic itself requires all patients and visitors to its medical centers to wear a mask or face covering.

VP Pence’s visit came on the same day that the US coronavirus caseload topped one million and the number of deaths surpassed 57,000.

President Donald Trump has himself previously said he has no plans to wear a mask.

The vice-president defended his decision to flout hospitals rules as necessary in order to meet with staff and patients.

He said: “As vice-president of the United States, I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus.

“And when the CDC issued guidelines about wearing a mask, it was their recognition that people that may have the coronavirus could prevent the possibility of conveying the virus to someone else by wearing a mask.

“And since I don’t have the coronavirus, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible healthcare personnel, and look them in the eye and say thank you.”

According to news website Axios, Mike Pence has never once worn a mask while in public since the pandemic began while continuing to travel throughout the country.

A Mike Pence aide was the first White House member to test positive for the virus in late March.

Allen Zderad from Minnesota is now able to see his wife again after ten years of being blind due to a bionic eye.

The 68-year-old man started having serious vision problems around 20 years ago due to a condition known as retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease which affects the retina.

Allen Zderad, who worked as a chemist when, was declared effectively blind a decade ago.

The man continued his hobby of woodwork by developing his sense of touch and spatial relationships.Allen Zderad bionic eye

Mayo Clinic researcher and ophthalmologist Dr. Raymond Iezzi Jr. had been working on the Second Sight Argus II retinal prosthesis system when he reached out to Allen Zderad.

Dr. Raymond Iezzi Jr. considered Allen Zderad a suitable candidate for a bionic implant.

During the process, the ophthalmologist fitted 60 electrodes into Allen Zderad’s eye.

The electrodes work by interacting with a special camera attached to the patient’s glasses and a separate computer pack capable of sending information to the electrodes embedded in Allen Zderad’s retina, which then sends signals straight to the optic nerve.

After implant, Allen Zderad, a grandfather of ten, explains that he can’t make out detail, but he can now make out shapes and outlines.

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Roger W. Harms, M.D., leading obstetrician at the Mayo Clinic, explains why women’s feet swell during pregnancy.

“Your body produces and retains more fluid during pregnancy,” he says.

“Also, your growing uterus puts pressure on your veins, which impairs return of blood to your heart. In turn, this can lead to swelling in the legs, ankles and feet. Hormonal changes might play a role as well.”

To avoid cankles, Dr. Roger W. Harms suggests a number of measures:

1.     Sleep on your left side:

This takes pressure off the inferior vena cava – the large vein that returns blood from the lower half of your body to your heart.

Kim Kardashian complained about her swollen feet when she tweeted a snap of them after wearing caged Givenchy boots all day

Kim Kardashian complained about her swollen feet when she tweeted a snap of them after wearing caged Givenchy boots all day

2.     Stand in water:

Standing in a pool can compress tissues in the legs and might provide temporary relief.

3.     Stay cool:

It might be soothing to apply cold-water compresses to swollen areas.

4.     Wear compression stockings:

Your midwife or GP might recommend wearing supportive tights or stockings.

5.     Drink plenty of fluids:

The Institute of Medicine recommends about two litres of fluids a day during pregnancy.

6.     Exercise:

Walking and swimming can alleviate swelling.

7.     Stay off your feet:

Avoid standing for long periods, and don’t cross your legs.

When you can, sit with your feet up and occasionally rotate your feet at the ankles.

Better still, lie down with your legs elevated.


A simple walking test could show if Alzheimer’s patients have the disease, say researchers after they found a link between the two.

In one test patients with a shorter stride and lower cadence and velocity in their walk also experienced memory problems and issues with cognition.

Another test found a person’s gait became “slower and more variable as cognition decline progressed”.

The findings are the first time that a physical symptom has been linked to the disease.

Previous research looked into cognition by carrying out neurological exams which tended to be costly and take a long time.

A simple walking test could show if Alzheimer’s patients have the disease

A simple walking test could show if Alzheimer’s patients have the disease

In future patients could simply be asked to walk and be observed over a number of months to see if they are at risk.

Crucially, the scientists said that walking changes can occur even before cognition decline surfaces.

Both pieces of research were presented at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

The first from the US-based Mayo Clinic involved monitoring how 1,341 participants walked through a gait sensor in two or more visits spaced 15 months apart.

The researchers found that walking changes occur because the disease interferes with the circuitry between areas of brain.

Lead researcher Rodolfo Savica said: “Walking and movements require a perfect and simultaneous integration of multiple areas of the brain.

“These changes support a possible role of gait changes as an early predictor of cognitive impairment.”

The second piece of research was carried out by Basel Mobility Center in Basel, Switzerland, and was on 1,153 adults with a mean age of 78.

The team found that people with Alzheimer’s walked more slowly than those with mild cognitive impairment.

They said that an annual test might help detect the disease early and that often relatives of Alzheimer’s patients comment on how badly a person is walking.

Bill Thies, chief medical and scientific officer for the US-based Alzheimer’s Association, said: “Monitoring deterioration and other changes in a person’s gait is ideal because it doesn’t require any expensive technology or take a lot of time to assess.”

Recent research into Alzheimer’s found that signs of dementia may appear 25 years before patients or their family sees any outward symptoms.

Scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis believe the brains and spines of those with the disease change in their 30s and 40s, several decades before memory loss and confusion sets in.