Why Mike Pence’s red eye at the VP debate has the internet buzzing

After the chaotic night that was the first presidential debate on Sept. 29, 2020, many Americans looked to the vice presidential debate as an opportunity to perhaps witness a more civilized discourse. The night unfolded much more smoothly than its predecessor, with both Democratic candidate Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s vice presidential pick, and Vice President Mike Pence answering questions in a (mostly) respectful manner. Although both candidates threw a bit of shade, dodged questions, and occasionally ran over the allotted time with their responses, the questions and answers took on an expected path and tone when compared to the presidential candidates’ outbursts and below-the-belt attacks. 

However, while the debate was mostly uneventful, one detail stuck out to viewers watching at home and had the internet buzzing about a possible red flag. The issue was connected to one of Mike Pence’s eyes. Here’s why social media — which includes countless folks with zero medical credentials — is speculating about the vice president’s wellbeing.

Some viewers thinks Mike Pence's red eye is a red flag

One of Vice President Mike Pence’s eyes appeared unusually red during the live, televised debate on Oct. 7, 2020. Of course, the internet noticed and was quick to dissect any and all possible reasons for the hue. 

“Does Pence have pink eye? Covid symptom alert,” one Twitter user said. “It’s VERY red,” another viewer tweeted. “Pink eye is a symptom of #COVID19. Could also be a subconjunctival hemorrhage — a broken blood vessel that can occur after a strong cough or sneeze.” Researchers have found that pink eye can be a symptom of COVID-19, but please note: Pence tested negative for the coronavirus and was declared symptom-free prior to the debate, reported NPR

Other social media critics cracked jokes at Pence’s expense. “Did Kamala’s words b**ch slap Mike Pence so hard it broke a blood vessel in his eye,” one user quipped. “I am not sure Mike Pence’s left eye is going to survive this debate,” political satirist Jeremy Newberger tweeted. 

It did, but not without worrying some viewers and causing a stir online.

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