Melania Trump went to a children's hospital to read to the children there as she normally does every year for the holidays. But she violated hospital policy and endangered the children and staff when she took off her mask to read:
The first lady arrived in the hospital's main atrium wearing a mask. When she took her seat in front of a tree, she removed the mask. Though she practiced social distancing, the hospital's policy specifically requires all visitors to wear a mask.
"Everyone must wear a mask at all times while in any Children's National facility to prevent the spread of COVID-19," the hospital's policy says.
That includes "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," and "wearing a mask at all times when you are around other individuals."
Later in the day, the White House issued a response later in the day, saying that she was more than 12 feet away from everyone and that she had complied with Washington, D.C. health regulations, while totally ignoring the hospital rules.
Not only that, as what I'm sure will come as a surprise to no one, the White House wasn't being completely honest:
The event was significantly scaled back from previous visits. Most children watched the reading from a live stream, but Trump arrived with 6-year-old Riley Whitney and 8-year-old Sophia Martinez, who were seated on the floor in front of her as she read.
She also left the room and presumably entered the public hallways without putting her facemask back on.
Also remember that she, like Donny Boy, contracted the virus in October. Health experts are not sure how long the antibodies last and still recommend wearing a mask in public.
December is proving to be the longest month in a year of long months.
UPDATE: (Karoli) Melania Trump's spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, issued a statement saying the First Lady didn't violate their rules, including a brief statement by Children's National Hospital:
Children’s National Hospital put the kibosh on that narrative Tuesday evening. “The hospital website does not include the mask policy for people who come to the hospital to give a speech,” the hospital said in a statement shared on Twitter by the first lady’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham. “The first lady did follow our mask protocols for public speakers, which is based on DC health guidance, which states 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.”
“In the case of today’s visit, which was broadcast to our patient rooms, when the first lady did remove her mask while she read a story, she was more than 12 feet away from others in our four-story atrium,” the hospital added. “This space was closed off from hospital visitors and the small group of people in that space were … wearing masks. For the remainder of the first lady’s visit, she wore a mask and did not visit any patient care areas.”
It's still dangerous to unmask. Anywhere. Just ask Chris Christie.