October 22, 2020

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White House chief of staff refuses to ‘talk through a mask’ to reporters

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsAdministration officials call on Congress to immediately pass bill to spend unused PPP funds Trump claims he is ‘immune’ from coronavirus, defends federal response Senate Republicans rip new White House coronavirus proposal MORE refused to “talk through a mask” to reporters on Monday after initially removing the mask, telling them he was “more than 10 feet away.”

“I’m more than 10 feet away … that way I can take this off,” Meadows told reporters at the Capitol during Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

After a reporter asked him to put it back on, Meadows replaced the mask and walked away, saying, “I’m not going to talk through a mask.”

The chief of staff wore a mask in the hearing room with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, according to NBC News.

Meadows is among the White House employees who continued to work out of the White House and directly interact with President TrumpDonald John TrumpDes Moines mayor says he’s worried about coronavirus spread at Trump rally Judiciary Committee Democrats pen second letter to DOJ over Barrett disclosures: ‘raises more questions that it answers’ Trump asks campaign to schedule daily events for him until election: report MORE since the president was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this month. Meadows said he tested negative for the virus as of Monday.

White House doctor Sean Conley said Saturday that the president meets Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “criteria for the safe discontinuation of isolation” and “is no longer considered a transmission risk to others,” but the White House has yet to clarify when the president last tested negative for the virus.

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