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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Video: Mark Meadows tells reporters he won’t ‘talk through a mask’

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday declined to wear a mask when addressing reporters on Capitol Hill. 
  • Walking away without answering any questions, he said, “I’m not going to talk through a mask.”
  • Journalists who cover Capitol Hill lawmakers are calling on congressional leaders to improve access to coronavirus testing and contact tracing, and to wear masks when talking to members of the media.
  • But Meadows, like President Donald Trump and others who work in the White House, continue to flout public health guidelines amid the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows refused to wear his mask on Monday while addressing reporters on Capitol Hill and walked off without taking any questions. 

During the encounter, a CNN congressional reporter, Kristin Wilson, asked Meadows to keep his face covered while speaking, according to Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim. But Meadows pulled a microphone-outfitted podium closer to himself and took off his mask, to the concern of journalists. 

“Well, I’m more than 10 feet away,” he said.

Seconds later, Meadows put his mask back on and stalked away from the group.

“I’m not going to talk through a mask,” he said.

This incident occurred on the first day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Health experts have noted that the coronavirus is known to travel several feet in the air, especially indoors, and that mask-wearing is one of the effective ways to prevent transmission. Already, the United States has reported more than 7.7 million cases and 214,000-plus deaths, based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Meadows’ refusal comes as representatives for journalists covering Capitol Hill lawmakers are urging congressional leaders to provide more access to testing and contact tracing, and to follow public health guidelines, including wearing masks, when interacting with members of the media.

This request came in reponse to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the White House, with several cases linked to Barrett’s nomination ceremony in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26. In the days that followed, the president, first lady, a handful of senators, and several White House aides tested positive for the disease.

Since then, several lawmakers have worn face coverings while talking to reporters on Capitol Hill, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was begun to wear one during her weekly press conferences. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also signaled last week that he hasn’t been to the White House in two months and suggested that the Trump administration’s coronavirus prevention measures are lax.

“My impression was their approach to how to handle this was different than mine and what I insisted that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” McConnell said at an event in Kentucky. 

But Meadows’ actions on Monday are in keeping with the White House’s pattern of neglect when it

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Cuomo brushes off talk of becoming Attorney General if Biden wins White House

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo insisted Monday that rumors about his interest in becoming attorney general under a potential President Joe Biden are coming from those who want to get him “out of New York.”

In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, the governor tamped down the idea of joining a future Biden administration, saying he remains solely focused on running the Empire State.

“I’m a New Yorker. I said I would serve as governor,” he said. “And those rumors … those are only from people who want to get me out of New York. I don’t know why, but that’s where that’s coming from.”

Cuomo’s comments come after Axios reported Sunday that he is on Biden’s short list for the top law enforcement spot.



Andrew Cuomo, Joe Biden are posing for a picture: Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former VP Joe Biden


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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former VP Joe Biden

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Cuomo has maintained a close relationship with the former vice president for years and supported his bid for the White House early on.

The governor, who served as housing and urban development secretary under President Clinton, has repeatedly tamped down speculations that he would be interested in heading to Washington should Biden unseat President Trump next month.

At the height of the coronavirus outbreak as Cuomo and New York were in the national spotlight, there were rumors that he could potentially replace Biden at the top of the Democratic ticket.

According to Axios, Democratic donors close to the governor support the idea of him heading up the Justice Department.

Pushed Monday as to what he would say if Biden offered him the gig, Cuomo was coy.

“I would say, ‘You are an old friend. You are a good friend. You’re going to win this election. You’re going to be the president. I’ll help you any way I can,’” he told NBC.

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NWI Business Ins and Outs: Sophia’s House of Pancakes, Joe’s Downtown Tacos, If Walls Could Talk Home Decor, and BYOB Fitness opening | Northwest Indiana Business Headlines

• BYOB Fitness, whose slogans have included “Build Your Own Body” and “Helping You Build the Best Version of Yourself,” opened in a former video store at 8231 Hohman Avenue in Munster.

The gym offers personal training, group classes, nutritional counseling, boot camps, and pop-up shops. It helps clients who want to build muscle, lose weight, change eating habits or just get coached by a trainer to reach their fitness goals.

Catering to both men and women, it offers certified instructors, full-body workouts, and live classes for all fitness levels. The fitness center offers private training and group classes such as yoga, core and cardio.

A retail section at the fitness center also sells items like tank tops, crew necks, face masks, water bottles and gym bags.

For more information, visit www.buildyourownbodybygina.com.

• Supermercado Durango just opened in Griffith.

The locally owned independent Mexican grocery store is now doing business at 507 E. Glen Park Ave. in a strip mall off 45th Street in Griffith, near the border of Gary’s Black Oak neighborhood. The new store sells fresh groceries and authentic Mexican food. It also runs a taqueria that offers tacos, tortas, sopas, gorditas, burritos and fajitas that are cooked to order.

It took over the space previously owned by Griffith Meats & Catering, a longtime institution that closed for good in 2018.

Supermercado Durango is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, call 219-513-9531, email [email protected] or find the business on Facebook.

• Mariner Finance, a personal loan lender, opened in the former Subway restaurant at 9515 Indianapolis Blvd. Suite 1 in the Sir James Court strip mall in Highland.

The financial services company has 450 branches in 24 states. It offers auto loans, personal loans, debt consolidation loans, home loans and other financial services products. The long-time submarine sandwich shop that previously occupied the space shuttered there last year along with Subways in Valparaiso, Michigan City, Hobart and many other Region locations.

• The Alley, the iconic rock, underground and counterculture store that’s a major regional draw from across greater Chicagoland, has closed at the Clark and Belmont intersection in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood for the second time in the last few years.

The shop with the landmark skull-and-crossbones logo that sells T-shirts, shoes and leather jackets, has relocated to 2620 W. Fletcher St. in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood.

A destination for many Region residents over the years, The Alley sells a number of punk, rock, metal, goth, and other youth fashions, including Chicago T-shirts, chain wallets, buttons and more. It’s been a Chicago institution for more than 40 years but has lately transitioned to a more online model of doing business.

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White House Open to Bigger Stimulus Bill as Mnuchin, Pelosi Talk

(Bloomberg) — The White House shifted tack on Thursday, signaling that the administration is again leaning toward a large-scale stimulus bill after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed back on the idea of individual measures for parts of the economy hit by the Covid-19 crisis.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Pelosi in a 40-minute call that President Donald Trump wants agreement on a comprehensive stimulus package, according to Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesman.



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Holds Weekly News Conference


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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Holds Weekly News Conference

Nancy Pelosi at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8.

Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said, “we’ve made very clear we want a skinny package,” though she later clarified that position, telling reporters the administration is “open to going with something bigger.” She reiterated opposition to the $2.2 trillion plan from House Democrats.

Prospects for coming to an agreement have proved volatile since Trump pulled his negotiators out of talks on a comprehensive package on Tuesday.

Stocks, too, have proved volatile, with airline shares rising and falling on shifting indications of the potential for a separate aid package for the industry. The broader S&P 500 Index climbed for a second session Thursday, after a tumble Tuesday, when Trump pulled his negotiators from stimulus talks.

‘Testing, Tracing’

Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats Friday morning casting further doubt on negotiations.

“The Administration does not share this priority of crushing the virus. The President does not have the capacity, leadership or plan for testing, tracing, and isolation that is needed,” Pelosi wrote. “Instead, Trump’s delay, denial, distortion of reality and disdain for science has exacted a deadly and preventable human toll.

Mnuchin and Pelosi held a follow-up call Thursday afternoon with House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velasquez and Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters about small businesses and access to capital.

The negotiations are proceeding against a frenzied backdrop, with the president recuperating from Covid-19 and the final stretch of the election campaign under way. Pelosi and Trump publicly questioned each other’s ability to perform their jobs on Thursday.

Read More: Pelosi and Trump Question Each Other’s Mental Faculties

The House speaker said earlier Thursday there could be no action on a stand-alone bill to aid airlines or any other sector of the economy without an agreement with the White House and Republicans on a broader stimulus package.

Pelosi said airline aid could move through Congress before a comprehensive deal is voted on — but that would have to be advanced in the “context” of a broader bill. “I have made the case to my colleagues that this is a special case,” Pelosi said on Bloomberg TV.

“There is no stand-alone bill without a bigger bill,” she said. Pelosi has also said this week she is pressing for language that would limit Trump’s ability to divert virus testing and treatment funds to other projects.

“I’m always optimistic,” Pelosi said. “Maybe the president seeing the reaction to his walking away

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‘This is a busy White House’: Trump told Dr. Fauci he didn’t have a lot of time to talk about COVID-19: Bob Woodward

President Trump reportedly told journalist Bob Woodward that he was too busy to meet with Dr. Anthony Fauci one-on-one in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

A previously unheard recording of Trump released Monday shows Trump shrugging off the need for more in-depth meetings with the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, CNN reported Monday.

“This is a busy White House,” Trump told Woodward in March as the death toll started rising. “We’ve got a lot of things happening.”

“Honestly there’s not a lot of time for that, Bob,” the president added.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci


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President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci

President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci

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Martha MacCallum on Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis: ‘The President seemed impenetrable’

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The new recording is from one of 18 interviews that Trump gave to Woodward for the iconic journalist’s book “Rage” about Trump’s White House.

Earlier recordings revealed that Trump admitted that he “like(s) playing down” the threat from the pandemic to the public even though he knew how dangerous it was.

In the new recording, Trump praises Fauci as “a sharp guy” but again seeks to tamp down the need for a full-court press to battle the virus, which was just starting to kill significant numbers of Americans.

Last week, the Republican president became one of 7.4 million Americans who contracted coronavirus and to date, he is currently receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Woodward has said he believes Trump’s mishandling of the virus shows that he is profoundly unfit to lead the country.

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Kitchen talk: What is the proper way to store garlic?

Do you store garlic bulbs on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator or pantry? You might want to rethink that.

If you store them correctly, you can keep the cloves fresh and crisp for years, says Ron Stidmon, who co-owns Enon Valley Garlic in Enon Valley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Rosemary.

Q: What is the proper way to store garlic?

A: Traditionally, garlic is stored in a cellar along with the potatoes and onions. But it also can be placed in a brown paper bag and stored in a basement that is cool and dark with relatively high humidity.

Cool does not mean freezing, and it is important that the basement is unheated. The air should not be stagnant because when there is movement of air, mold won’t settle on the garlic.

Keeping that in mind, the worst places to store the bulbs are on the kitchen counter or in a refrigerator or pantry. The counter space near the stove is too warm. The refrigerator is not ideal because it does not have any air movement, and the humidity is too low. Garlic stored in a pantry or closet is all right for a short period of time but not for the long haul. It will shrivel because the air is dry, and there is no ventilation.

If you don’t have a basement, place the bulbs in a good plastic box and put it in the dirt. The soil has a good temperature that will help to keep the bulbs fresh.

Q: Should I discard any garlic that has sprouted?

A: A garlic with a sprout does not mean that it has gone bad. In fact, it’s OK to eat garlic that has a sprout because a young one is nutritious, even though it can be a little bitter. But do consume the garlic soon because as a sprout grows, the juice is transferred from the bulb to the green part. As a result the garlic will start turning brown and shrivel.

Q: What about long-term storage?

A: One way to keep garlic fresh for years is to store the cloves in a jar along with vinegar. Start by removing the wrapper. Then place the cloves in a 4-quart jar along with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Top the jar with filtered or bottled water, and place it in the refrigerator. This will preserve and not pickle the garlic and also keep it nice and crisp.

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Pet owners could talk to their vets about CBD, marijuana products under Michigan House-passed bill

Products promising to alleviate a beloved pet’s pain with CBD oil or THC have long been available to consumers – but Michigan veterinarians are currently operating in a legal gray area when talking about those products with pet owners.

Many Michigan lawmakers are hoping to change that. This week, a bill that would let veterinarians consult with pet owners about the use of marijuana or industrial hemp products for their animals passed the Michigan House unanimously.

Rep. Greg Markkanen, R-Houghton, sponsored the bill after learning from veterinarians in his district that while clients often have questions about how products containing CBD or THC could affect their pet’s health, state law doesn’t explicitly allow veterinarians to discuss the pros and cons of the products with pet owners.

Veterinarians also aren’t technically allowed to initiate discussions about whether a pet has been exposed to marijuana – which experts say can pose problems for treating animals, as THC can interact with other medications or cause medical issues in the event of an accidental overdose.

“We must make sure our veterinarians are able to have open and honest conversations with people about using products containing CBD oil and marijuana to care for their pets,” Markkanen said in a statement following the passage of his bill.

In January, the House Agriculture Committee heard from veterinarians that the law could help lead to better information and research about appropriate uses and side effects for animals, and also help pet owners get trusted medical advice on the products instead of having to research it on the internet.

“Without the correction, it holds our hands behind our backs in properly advocating what would be proper for their pet,” Dr. Kellie Holmstrom, a Marquette veterinarian who helped inspire the legislation, previously told lawmakers.

Michigan has allowed medicinal marijuana use since 2008, and hemp and recreational marijuana were legalized in 2018. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a hemp-derived extract that can be added to oils and lotions and is used as a natural remedy for anxiety, insomnia, depression and pain.

Sales of CBD pet products have increased rapidly throughout the country, increasing from $8 million in 2017 to $32 million in 2018, according to the Brightfield Group. The firm estimates the CBD pet market could reach $1.16 billion nationwide by 2022.

The legislation, House Bill 5085, is now before the Michigan Senate. It would need to pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to become law.

Related coverage:

Michigan veterinarians want authority to discuss CBD, marijuana products with pet owners

Q&A with a vet: Is CBD safe for pets?

The CBD pet market could reach $1.16 billion in the U.S. by 2022.

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