Biden rips Trump for not wearing mask: 'I can't walk outside my house' without one
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday tore into President Trump over his refusal to wear a protective mask amid the coronavirus crisis despite the recommendations of doctors, public health experts and White House protocols for all West Wing staffers.
“He has refused to acknowledge his responsibility,” Biden said during a Yahoo News virtual town hall, before mockingly paraphrasing the president. “Turn on the television today and guess what? ‘Everything’s going fine, man. We’re in great shape. We have all the tests we need to get people to go back to work safely. Don’t worry about it. I don’t need a mask.’”
The presumptive Democratic nominee then displayed his mask, holding up a dark cloth facial covering.
“I got my mask,” Biden said. “I can’t walk outside my house [without wearing one] because the Secret Service is there. They’re all wearing their masks. They’re all getting tested. Come on.”
Trump has so far flouted the guidance issued by the White House coronavirus task force to wear a facial covering in public.
The president has faced sharp criticism for not wearing a mask on recent domestic trips to tour facilities involved in manufacturing and producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline medical workers, including masks.
Last month Vice President Mike Pence was the only person not wearing a mask while visiting with coronavirus patients at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., violating the hospital’s policy. The Mayo Clinic said it had informed Pence’s office of the mask requirement before his visit.
Pence later acknowledged it was a mistake not to wear one, and has been doing so at some events.
Earlier this month two White House aides, including Pence’s spokeswoman, tested positive for the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1.5 million Americans and killed over 91,000 to date.
The White House subsequently mandated that all staffers and visitors in the West Wing wear masks.
On Thursday Trump is scheduled to tour a Michigan Ford plant that requires all visitors to wear masks.
“Our policy is that everyone wears PPE to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” a Ford spokesperson said Tuesday. “We shared all of Ford’s safety protocols, including our manufacturing playbook, employee pamphlet and self-assessment survey with the White House ahead of time and in preparation for this trip.”
When asked whether he would don a mask on the trip, the president was noncommittal.
“Where it’s appropriate, I would do it, certainly,” Trump said.
Late Tuesday the company backpedaled, saying it would defer to the White House’s own policies on mask wearing.
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