Melania Trump breaks virus protocol at children’s hospital by removing mask

The First Lady took off her face covering during a visit to the Children's National Hospital to read a holiday book.

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Melania Trump continued her tradition of visiting the Children’s National Hospital to read holiday books, however this year she faced some backlash for not following COVID-mandated rules.

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According to CNN, the First Lady removed her mask to read to children despite hospital policy. The outlet reported she entered the building with her mask on, however, once she entered and took her seat, the face covering came off.

“Everyone must wear a mask at all times while in any Children’s National facility to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the policy stated according to CNN. It says that visitors should be “wearing a mask when entering any Children’s National building, as mandated by area officials. This includes all public places, such as the hallway and cafeteria.” 

The White House issued a statement in response.

“Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event was limited in numbers of in-person participants and all guests were required to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing. The visit followed the hospital’s mask protocols for public speakers, based on the District of Columbia health guidance, that wearing a mask is not required when a person is giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker. Throughout the holiday program, the First Lady was more than twelve feet away from others in the four-story atrium. Today’s visit, broadcast to 325 inpatient hospital rooms, followed these guidelines.”

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Children’s National spokeswoman Diana Troese also supported the First Lady. Troese told the news outlet that social distancing was practiced.

“Our number one priority at Children’s National Hospital is the safety of our patients, families and employees. Under DC Health regulations, wearing a mask is not required when a person is giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker,” she said repeating the policy.

“In the case of today’s visit which was broadcast to our 325 patients, while the First Lady did remove her mask while she read a story, she was more than 12 feet away from others in our large atrium. All other people in that space were wearing masks. The remainder of her visit, she wore a mask.” 

Melania Trump
First Lady Melania Trump participates in the annual Marine Toys for Tots Drive at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling on December 8, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

As theGrio reported, Trump contracted COVID-19 this fall, along with her husband, outgoing President Donald Trump, and their 14-year-old son, Barron. The First Lady had mild symptoms, Trump had to be hospitalized for treatment and Barron was asymptomatic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 25,339 cases of COVID-10 in the District of Columbia since Jan. 21, 2020, and 720 confirmed deaths.

The United States recently surpassed 100,000 hospitalizations related to the deadly virus, according to a report in theGrio.

“We need to mask up. We need to social-distance. In some areas where it is really bad, we are going to need to shut down certain things, like bars and restaurants,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a renowned cardiologist and professor at George Washington University, according to the report.“ We can’t keep doing what we are doing now and expect a different result. That is insanity.”

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