Joe Zee, or Mr. Joe Zee as he's known to his almost half a million followers on social media, is now a happy father! The former editor who previously served as the creative director of Elle and the editor-in-chief of Yahoo! Style, announced the news on Twitter, and followed it with a strong rebuke of Pence.
"We Are Dads!!!" Zee wrote in a tweet introducing the world to his daughter Vivian Magic Younkers-Zee who was born April 21. The child's name is hyphenated with the surname of Zee's husband Rob Younkers. "Looking into her eyes the moment she came into this world at this time, changed us and we couldn't be happier, full of hopes and dreams for her."
"Vivi is a true bright light we both need right now, and we are eternally thankful to Dr. Osuebi and all of the incredible nurses and doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota who were so kind and patient and warm in the delivery and care of our happy, healthy daughter," he continued.
Vivian was born via surrogacy similarly to other recent births for gay dads like Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, and Ricky Martin. The birth comes after a two and a half year process, with Zee and Younkers having gotten married in October 2018. But Zee's experience at the Mayo Clinic gave him a bit of an inside track on a recent controversy involving Vice President Mike Pence.
In a visit to the Mayo Clinic, Pence turned up with no mask in direct defiance of the establishment's guidelines. As a result of the global pandemic, Mayo Clinic requires all staff patients and visitors to wear face coverings. In a bungled defense, his wife Karen Pence said that her husband didn't know anything about the guideline prior to his visit. According to Zee — and many others — that's just not possible.
"My husband and I lived at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota all last week, witnessing and caring for the birth of our daughter with the help of the incredible doctors and nurses there," he wrote to Twitter. "Beyond being gracious, kind, smart, they were the utmost professionals from the [first] day we were there, they explained their protocol to wear masks in all public areas [and] provided them for us when we didn't have [one] on hand."
"To insinuate that your husband did not know he had to wear one is discrediting all these hard-working nurses and doctors and support staff at the Mayo Clinic who all take their jobs seriously and do it outstandingly," Zee asserted. "Also, maybe your husband could have also just looked around." Zee attached photos of hospital staff, all wearing masks, to his posts.