WATCH: Mark Meadows Refuses To Wear Mask While Talking To Press, Walks Away
While the confirmation hearings of Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court Justice carried on inside, Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s chief of staff, met press outside the Senate. In a short video clip, he can be seen preparing to speak to the press, then walking off in a huff when asked to wear a mask.
The entire encounter takes less than 25 seconds. Meadows approaches reporters, then backs away and removes his mask. Reporters can be heard calling for him to put the mask back on. “I’m more than ten feet away!” he says, but immediately puts the mask back on, declares, “I’m not gonna talk through a mask,” and storms off.
WH Chief of Staff Mark Meadows refuses to talk to reporters without his mask off. pic.twitter.com/LlACGLd1ou
— The Recount (@therecount) October 12, 2020
He’s far from the first White House official to flout CDC recommendations for wearing masks to reduce the risk of transmission. This weekend, national security adviser Robert O’Brien was seen giving a tour of the White House Briefing Room, mask-free.
Video shows national security adviser Robert O’Brien giving a tour of the White House Briefing Room on Saturday without a mask. pic.twitter.com/PDCjMQjw5E
— The Hill (@thehill) October 11, 2020
However, the incessant insistence on defying these rules becomes much more blatant and stark after the president’s stay in the hospital for his own COVID-19 infection. With the Amy Coney Barrett hearings in progress, there’s an additional reminder of the risks involved, since it’s generally presumed that Trump’s Rose Garden ceremony to introduce her was the superspreader event that started the virus rolling through the White House, hitting press, Trump Administration officials, and senators.
It seems to be another sign of ongoing disregard for safety guidelines, following Senator Lindsey Graham refusing a COVID-19 test, and Senator Mike Lee speaking without a mask after his recent infection with the coronavirus.