So...your boss and his wife just got disagnosed with a potentially life-threatening virus and you go out to reassure the American public by continuing to not wear a mask? Afraid so, sportsfans.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows addressed reporters outside the White House Friday, hours after President Donald Trump's positive coronavirus diagnosis, blatantly disregarding guidelines on mask usage despite his close contact with the President this week.
Meadows defended not wearing a mask, saying it was because he received a negative test and was socially distanced from reporters, but in the same breath, acknowledged that Covid-19 is "contagious... regardless of whatever protocol we have."
His response is part of a continued pattern of White House staff showing little interest in changing their practices to meet the needs of the moment, actively eschewing mask usage, despite widely-accepted guidance from public health experts and the administration's own coronavirus task force.
"Yeah. So I've obviously been tested, we're hopefully more than six feet away. And if there's any concern there, from a guidance standpoint, we have protocols in place," Meadows said when pressed by CNN's Jim Acosta on why he was not wearing a mask.
There followed, according to Mediaite, "an oddly elliptical word salad of guideline and mitigation verbiage, which added up to making very little sense. Meadows prattled.."
“You know, when — when — when early — early on when we first started to tackle the covid-19 battle, we actually did two different things in the white house. A number of contingencies as we looked at not only additional testing but certainly mitigating the risk for social distancings, and private meetings and the likes and I think it goes to the broader question and even with a lot of mitigating factor, Jim, what — what you have is a virus that is contagious, that certainly continues to be regardless of whatever protocol we have, that it has the ability to affect everybody. As you know, the president, we keep a pretty wide circle. All of you that have interacted with him know that so even with the wide circle around the president we find that he’s having to deal with this like so many millions of other Americans and people around the world have had to do.”
Senator Chris Murphy called Meadows' appearance "disturbing" and said it sends a "dangerous message".
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) says it’s important for adversaries to see that Trump is "awake and alert," but “it was disturbing” to see Chief of Staff Meadows at briefing with no mask. pic.twitter.com/10lNGWkyqi
— The Recount (@therecount) October 2, 2020
Could someone get Mark Meadows a goddamn mask?!
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) October 2, 2020
Mark Meadows out there talking about trump having mild symptoms and STILL NOT WEARING A MASK is peak ironic stupidity and why the entire stupid White House might have COVID-19.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) October 2, 2020
"I'm going to get into the tick tock" -- Mark Meadows won't answer a question about why Trump exposed people to the coronavirus at a fundraiser on Thursday if the White House knew Hope Hicks tested positive the night before pic.twitter.com/ibV6QvZ08y
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 2, 2020