Marc Short

Marc Short

Chief of Staff to the Vice President

White House Director of Legislative Affairs


Marc Short served as a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence and was a key leader of the White House’s ill-fated coronavirus task force. As the pandemic spread across the country, Short was a “vocal skeptic” of the outbreak’s severity, according to news reports, and he pushed to lift safety restrictions in order to boost President Trump’s reelection chances.


COVID Disinformation

  • Short “exerted significant influence over” Vice President Pence’s COVID-19 taskforce, including by questioning the validity of public health data and pressuring government officials to re-open in order to help President Trump’s reelection chances. [The Washington Post, 05/02/21]
  • Refused to wear a mask during a widely publicized tour of the Mayo Clinic in April 2020, disregarding the prestigious hospital’s safety policies and public health experts’ guidance in the height of the coronavirus pandemic. [Bloomberg Law, 04/28/20]

News Coverage and Headlines

  • “Former staffer for Vice President Mike Pence, Olivia Troye, has claimed the White House never cared about the COVID-19 pandemic and Pence’s own chief of staff, Marc Short, joked about wearing masks. Troye spoke to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday following the news that Short had tested positive for COVID-19 […] ‘I’m gonna be brutality honest here,’ Troye said. ‘I’m not [surprised]. I worked very closely with Marc Short. He was the number one person to act like COVID wasn’t real.’” [Newsweek, 10/26/20]
  • “Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Pence, exerted significant influence over the coronavirus task force…Short also is one of the White House’s most vocal skeptics of how bad the pandemic would be. He repeatedly questioned the data being shared with Trump, and in internal discussions said he did not believe the death toll would ever get to 60,000 and that the administration was overreacting, damaging the economy and the president’s chances for reelection, according to people who have heard his arguments.” [The Washington Post, 05/02/21]
  • “In an appearance on the network on Saturday night, Short told Brown that he believes Americans ‘were deprived of the right to actually hear a debate about the improprieties that happened in the November election.’” [Newsweek, 02/21/21]
  • “There remains a deeper problem, though: Whether he behaved as an ‘adult’ or a gentleman, Marc Short has assisted in the purposeful White House effort to destroy truth. Examples abound. Short has parroted White House falsehoods in defense of family separation, including the source-free claim that “80 percent of those that are coming here illegally never show up for court and are never deported”and the false claim, recently rejected in the federal courts, that the Trump separation policy was merely a lawful effort to ‘enforce the law’ already on the books.” [Slate, 07/30/18]
  • HEADLINE: “34 days of pandemic: Inside Trump’s desperate attempts to reopen America” [Washington Post, 05/02/20]
  • HEADLINE: “Behind the White House Effort to Pressure the C.D.C. on School Openings” [New York Times, 09/28/20]
  • HEADLINE: “Under Pence, Politics Regularly Seeped Into the Coronavirus Task Force” [New York Times, 10/08/20]