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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At White House Event, Trump Tells Supporters He’s ‘Feeling Great’

Reporting by The Associated Press:

WASHINGTON, DC — President Donald Trump on Saturday made his first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus. The White House has refused to declare that he is no longer contagious, and the gathering of hundreds of people on the South Lawn went ahead despite the guidance of public health officials.

Trump delivered an address on his support for law enforcement from the Blue Room balcony to a friendly crowd. The president wore a mask as he walked out for the speech but took it off to make his remarks. He received an enthusiastic response from his supporters.

“I’m feeling great,” said Trump, who said he was thankful for their good wishes and prayers as he recovered.

Trump is also priming for a Florida rally on Monday and campaign events in Iowa and Pennsylvania later in the week.

The president addressed the large crowd even as the White House refuses to declare that he is no longer contagious and against the guidance of public health officials.

The White House insisted the event on the South Lawn was an official event and not a campaign rally. But Trump used the address to make broadsides against the Democratic ticket of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris.

“I think we’re gonna swamp them by so much,” he said.

Trump appeared healthy, though perhaps a little hoarse, during the 18-minute speech that was intended to send the message that he’s back and ready to resume his battle for reelection.

Before the speech, White House officials said they had no information to release on whether the president was tested for COVID-19, meaning he made his first public appearance without the White House verifying that he’s no longer contagious.

Security was stepped up around the White House before the event, which was called a “peaceful protest for law & order.” Police and the Secret Service closed surrounding streets to vehicles and shut down Lafayette Square, the park near the White House that has long been a gathering place for public protest.

As questions linger about his health — and Democratic opponent Joe Biden steps up his own campaigning — Trump also planned to leave the Washington area on Monday for the first time since he was hospitalized for a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida. He is also scheduled to hold campaign events in Iowa and Pennsylvania next week and is increasing his radio and TV appearances with conservative interviewers, hoping to make up for lost time with just over three weeks until Election Day and millions already voting.

Biden’s campaign said he again tested negative on Saturday for COVID-19. Biden was potentially exposed to the coronavirus during his Sept. 29 debate with Trump, who announced his positive diagnosis barely 48 hours after the debate.

The president has not been seen in public — other than in White House-produced videos — since his return five days ago from the military

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Police concerned after man tells young girl to get into his truck in the BC Interior

For the second time this week, RCMP in the BC Interior are investigating a suspicious incident that has all the makings of a possible child abduction attempt.

The latest incident happened Tuesday afternoon in Williams Lake as a young girl was walking alone between 3-3:30 pm.

According to police, she was in the area of Proctor Street and 3 Avenue when an unknown man in a truck called her over and told her to get into his vehicle.

Fortunately, “the child did not comply and ran from home however did not immediately report the incident,” said an RCMP release.

Police provided the following description of the man who was allegedly involved:

  • Heavy
  • In his thirties
  • Fair to Medium skin
  • With red, black and blue tattoos (believed to be on his arms)
  • Short, dark brown to black hair
  • Moustache
  • Spoke English with no accent

They also provided a description of the vehicle he was driving:

  • Red and shiny with grey or silver stripe on the door
  • Appeared brand new, or had been recently been washed
  • Runs quietly
  • Large

“We are very interested in identifying and speaking with the driver of this truck to determine what his intentions were with this child,” said S/Sgt. Del Byron.

“If you were in the area of 3 Avenue and Proctor Avenue yesterday afternoon and were a witness to this incident, or have dash-cam or other surveillance video we are asking that you call us.”

Although the two incidents happened just over 100 kilometres apart on back-to-back days, the RCMP says there have been no links found between this incident and the one that occurred in Quesnel on Monday night.

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Trump tells White House doctor: ‘I feel great!’

The doctor reported that the president has “now been fever-free for more than 4 days, symptom-free for over 24 hours, and has not needed nor received any supplemental oxygen since initial hospitalization.”

In addition, Trump’s labs “demonstrated detectable levels of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies from labs drawn Monday,” Conley wrote, adding that “initial IgG levels drawn late Thursday night were undetectable.”

Conley’s memo referred to the long-lasting antibodies the human body produces to combat the coronavirus, not the cloned antibodies Trump received in the form of a drug treatment.

The body normally develops long-lasting Covid-19 antibodies several days to a few weeks after infection. Their presence in Trump’s system signals that he is mounting an immune response against Covid-19 — likely with help from the drugs he was given during treatment, to some degree.

Trump has so far received two rounds of oxygen therapy, two experimental drugs — including one that is not available to the broader patient population — and one steroid generally reserved for severe or critical Covid-19 cases.

The president left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening after being admitted last Friday, and aides say he has worked from the Executive Residence since returning to the White House.

Conley’s latest memo comes after he transmitted a less substantive appraisal of Trump’s condition Tuesday afternoon, writing that the president “reports no symptoms” and “continues to do extremely well.”

Neither the Tuesday nor Wednesday memo offered any details about the state of Trump’s lungs after being battered by an acute respiratory disease, and the White House also has refused to provide a definitive timeline of the president’s Covid-19 tests in the days before his diagnosis.

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Three Days After Trump’s COVID Diagnosis, White House Tells Staff With Symptoms to Stay Home

The White House has told staff that if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay home. The advice comes a full three days after President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus.

An all-staff email sent on Sunday urges anyone with COVID symptoms to “please stay home” and “do not come to work.” The email also tells any staff with symptoms to “immediately contact your primary care provider” and “inform [your] supervisors.”

The email was obtained by New York Magazine‘s Washington Correspondent Olivia Nuzzi. She took to Twitter to point out that the advice came only after the president was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center with the disease.

“Three days after the public learned about President Trump’s COVID-19 infection and the viruses spread through the White House and federal government, WH staff finally received an email telling them what to do if they have symptoms,” Nuzzi wrote.

The email says, in part: “If you or your colleagues believe that you should be practicing telework, or have questions about your ability to do so, please contact your supervisor.”

Nuzzi also noted confusion and even anger at the White House about the way the administration handled the president’s diagnosis. There has been significant criticism about mixed messaging surrounding his illness.

“[A] senior White House official was angry that staff had been kept in the dark, that nobody had been told what to do about the virus spreading rapidly in their own workplace,” Nuzzi said.

There was criticism of how the Trump administration was dealing with COVID-19 even before the president’s diagnosis. His decision to mock former Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask at the first presidential debate contrasted with reports that mask-wearing isn’t required at the White House and there are no plans to make it mandatory.

“Our standard protocol is CDC best practices and recommendations,” a White House official told Axioson October 2. “Facial coverings are recommended but not required. There’s hand sanitizing stations located throughout the complex, frequent washing of hands and good hygiene is strongly recommended and social distancing is encouraged. So, I don’t foresee those things changing.”

In a video posted on Sunday, Trump said he’d learned more about COVID since his admission to Walter Reed. He also briefly left the hospital for a short drive where he waved at supporters.

“It’s been a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID. I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the ‘let’s read the books’ school,” Trump said in a video

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Trump hospitalized while walking avoids damaging images, official tells NYT

A masked President Donald Trump walked across the White House lawn, gave a thumbs up to onlookers, and boarded a helicopter for Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday evening.

Earlier that day, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had announced they tested positive for the coronavirus.

The president had also developed a fever, cough, congestion, and fatigue by the time he was admitted to the hospital, aides told The New York Times.

Trump will be staying at Walter Reed for “the next few days,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the decision came “out of an abundance of caution.”

But one unnamed administration official told the Times that it was better for Trump to leave while he could still walk to avoid the president being publicly assisted out of the White House if his condition turns severe.

If Trump gets better, the hospital stay will have ultimately been “inconsequential politically,” the Times’ Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman wrote.

Trump Walter Reed.JPG

President Donald Trump disembarks from the Marine One helicopter as he arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Friday, October 2, 2020.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters


“I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” Trump said in a brief video message shared Friday before he was hospitalized.

Hospitalization could point to worsening symptoms

Trump is a 74-yeas-old obese male — all factors that substantially increase his likelihood of severe illness and death from the coronavirus. The early hospitalization could be a sign that his condition has already begun to deteriorate, experts said.

“It might mean he’s now sleepy or confused… or, more likely, short of breath, cough and/or low oxygen level, indicating lung involvement,” Bob Watcher, Chair of the Department of Medicine at University of California San Francisco, tweeted on Friday. “Yes, the threshold to hospitalize the president is probably lower than for average person, but still – it’s not good.”

At this point, Watcher estimated the president’s risk of death to be greater than 10%.

Trump, Dr. Fauci, Birx briefing masks mask

White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, left, and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, both wearing face masks listen as President Donald J. Trump participates in a vaccine development event in the Rose Garden at the White House on Friday, May 15, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Jabin Botsford/Getty Images


At Walter Reed, Trump has received his first dose of the anti-viral drug remdesivir, White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo Friday night.

Remdesivir, developed by biotechnology giant Gilead Sciences, is given as a five-day or 10-day infusion. Studies have shown that it can help hospitalized patients with COVID-19 recover faster than they do with a placebo.

Before leaving for the hospital, Trump also received an injection of Regeneron’s experimental antibody drug, according to Conley.

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Fox News Reporter Tells White House, Twitter to ‘Stop Blaming the Media’ for Again Asking if Trump Will Condemn White Supremacy

Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts sent a clear message to the White House and Twitter users on Thursday to “stop blaming the media” for asking again if President Donald Trump will publicly condemn white supremacy.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Screenshot of Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts on the network on October 1, 2020. "Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media," he said. "I'm tired of it." Roberts pushed White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to declare that President Donald Trump denounces white supremacy at a press briefing earlier in the day.


© Fox News
Screenshot of Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts on the network on October 1, 2020. “Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media,” he said. “I’m tired of it.” Roberts pushed White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to declare that President Donald Trump denounces white supremacy at a press briefing earlier in the day.

Earlier in the day, Roberts asked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany if Trump denounces such groups.

“I would like to ask you for a definitive and declarative statement without ambiguity or deflection. As the person who speaks for the president, does the president denounce white supremacy and groups that espouse it in all their forms?” he asked during a press briefing.

McEnany replied, “This has been answered. Yesterday by the president himself. The day before by the president himself on the debate stage. The president was asked this. He said, ‘sure’ three times. Yesterday, he was asked point blank, ‘Do you denounce white supremacy,’ and he said ‘I have always denounced any form of that.'”

While McEnany read previous quotes that she said indicated that Trump “has condemned white supremacy more than any other president in modern history,” Roberts pushed for her to make an explicit, clear statement that Trump denounces these individuals. McEnany argued she “just did.”

“For all of you on Twitter, who are hammering me for asking that question, I don’t care because it’s a question that needs to be asked and clearly, the president’s Republican colleagues a mile away from here are looking for an answer for it too,” Roberts said on Fox News. “Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it.”

Trump Struggles To Condemn White Supremacy During 2020 First Presidential Debate

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Trump’s response during Tuesday’s presidential debate has stirred confusion and controversy after the president was asked to condemn white supremacy on the national stage.

“Proud Boys—stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left,” Trump replied.

His decision to not explicitly answer moderator Chris Wallace’s question has come under fire by a number of prominent Republicans.

Some GOP senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Lindsey Graham, have commented on the president’s remarks, calling on Trump to correct his statement while stating they personally denounce white supremacy.

When given the opportunity to do so, Trump said he did not know who the Proud Boys are.

“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are. You’ll have to give me a definition because I really don’t know who they are. I can only say they have to stand down and let law enforcement do their work,” he told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

Roberts said the Trump’s additional

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Fox News’ John Roberts angrily tells off the White House for its refusal to denounce white supremacy

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Trump’s Jab on Hunter Biden’s Drug Addiction Horrifies Treatment Advocates

Even by the historically low standards of decorum and decency set by President Donald Trump’s pugilistic performance in his first presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, the president’s attack on his opponent’s son for his past struggles with substance use was singular in its ugliness.“Are you talking about Hunter?” Trump said late into the debate, interrupting Biden as he reflected on his late son, Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015. “Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged for cocaine use—he didn’t have a job until you became vice president, and once you became vice president, he made a fortune.”Trump’s callous and incorrect comments—Hunter Biden was not dishonorably discharged— about his opponent’s lone surviving son’s past drug use were clearly wielded to leave a mark, but Biden responded with defiance.“My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people we know at home, had a drug problem,” Biden said. “He’s overtaken it. He’s fixed it, he’s worked on it, and I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my son.”The moment horrified advocates for addiction treatment and recovery who told The Daily Beast that they fear Trump’s comments, and comments like them, could make it harder for the millions of Americans affected by substance use to get help.“Addiction is a medical condition that affects millions of Americans each year, irrespective of any demographic. It is a disease, not a moral or character failing,” Marvin Ventrell, CEO of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, told The Daily Beast. “It is inappropriate, harmful, hurtful, and irresponsible when a public figure or person of influence disparages people suffering from addiction.”“Pointing out a father because his son may have struggled in the past with a substance use disorder is wholly unconstructive and serves to perpetuate misconceived perceptions of addiction,” said Dr. Paul H. Earley, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). “Our nation must respond with compassion and evidence-based treatments if we want to treat addiction and save lives.”Trump’s comments, which characterized substance use as a character failure, also undercut the hard-fought understanding in the medical community that addiction is a disease, said Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical director of American Addiction Centers, which provides treatment for substance use disorders.Trump Planned to Go Feral on Biden. Now His Allies Want to Call Animal Control“The stigma surrounding mental health and addiction has been shown to be a significant barrier to treatment and prevents many people from seeking the help that they need,” said Weinstein, who called addiction “an indiscriminate, chronic, complex and relapsing brain disease.”“This disease is not the result of a moral failing, poor judgment, or weakness—it is a chronic condition that requires lifelong maintenance,” Weinstein said.Trump has a track record of making flippant comments about substance use and addiction, despite the death of his elder brother to complications related to alcoholism. In recent years

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New Vietnamese restaurant tells family’s immigrant story

Years before Manh Trac was born in Ho Chi Minh City, his mother performed at the local circus, balancing her petite frame upon spinning barrels. She had terrible motion sickness, but she also had six siblings to help feed. So if it took some daredevil stunts to accomplish that, so be it. 



a person standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera: Family portrait at Yen's Kitchen, from left: Phuong Trac, Mike Du, Yen Nguyen, Hung Trac, Manh Trac. The Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.


© Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post
Family portrait at Yen’s Kitchen, from left: Phuong Trac, Mike Du, Yen Nguyen, Hung Trac, Manh Trac. The Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.

When that wasn’t enough, Yen Nguyen learned to cook. She set up a lunch stand in an industrial neighborhood and sold steaming bowls of her homemade noodle soups to factory workers on break. Her long-simmered beef pho and pork-broth soups picked up a following. Soon she had a food cart to roll into the local zoo, where she could sell bags of homemade Vietnamese street snacks to visiting families. 

When her son was born, she moved the food enterprise to her front porch. At 25, Manh Trac tells that story as if he witnessed all of it himself, with details so vivid you can taste the chili oil in his mother’s popular spicy beef vermicelli bowls. 

He tells the story today from Yen’s Kitchen, the bright, month-old restaurant his mother opened in a suburban Lake Worth plaza that’s home to three churches, a pizzeria and a new-ish Asian market. Manh may be standing a world away from that front-porch stand of their native Vietnam, but the scents and flavors of their homeland surround him in the small, casual eatery. 

“Everything you see here is made by my mother,” says Manh, referring to the neat shelves of street snacks and spices his mom makes and packages. “We’re just her supporters.”



a person cooking in a kitchen preparing food: Yen Nguyen drains noodles as she make a pho bowl at her restaurant, Yen's Kitchen. Open since late August, the Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.


© Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post
Yen Nguyen drains noodles as she make a pho bowl at her restaurant, Yen’s Kitchen. Open since late August, the Vietnamese restaurant is at 7364 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth.

A hand-painted mural lights up a wall with a sign that translates to “Second Sister of Saigon” — it’s a popular Vietnamese movie title that seems made to order for his mom. Not only is she a second-eldest sister from the city formerly known as Saigon, she’s an industrious woman like the film’s protagonist.  

That’s his mother in the kitchen, ladling 18-hour broth into deep bowls. What you don’t see: The many hours Yen Nguyen spends making the snacks she packages, the desserts displayed in the cooler, the traditional teas she brews, the sandwich meats for her banh mis and the batter for her Vietnamese crepes. 



a bowl of soup: A pho bowl is served at Yen's Kitchen Vietnamese restaurant in suburban Lake Worth.


© Allen Eyestone, The Palm Beach Post
A pho bowl is served at Yen’s Kitchen Vietnamese restaurant in suburban Lake Worth.

Manh, who was 8 when his family came to America in 2003 and who holds bachelor’s degrees in business management and communications, handles the operational side of the restaurant while his father Hung Trac and sister Phuong Trac, who

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‘Everything’ White House Task Force Adviser Who Sided With Trump Over Masks Says ‘Is False,” CDC Director Tells Colleague

Members of the White House’s coronavirus task force don’t always see eye to eye, and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), isn’t keen on comments the newest addition has been making.

Redfield, who has been a member of the task force since its inception, told a colleague during a September 25 phone call that “everything” Dr. Scott Atlas says “is false.” Atlas was added to the task force in August, and Redfield warned a colleague during the phone conversation, which was overheard by NBC News, that he was misleading President Donald Trump with data about mask efficacy, herd immunity benefits and who is at risk.

Atlas contradicted Redfield’s sworn testimony last Wednesday that the data shows more than 90 percent of the U.S. population is still susceptible to the new coronavirus. Atlas said during a briefing that same day that Redfield “misstated something” and added that the CDC’s state-by-state data “is old.” Atlas also said immunity to the infection is not “solely determined by the percentage of people who have antibodies” but also by cross-immunity from other infections.

“So the answer is no, it is not 90 percent of people that are susceptible to the infection,” Atlas said, adding that people are “supposed to believe the science and I’m telling you the science.”

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Redfield and Atlas also broke on the usage of masks. The CDC director told a Senate panel on September 16 that wearing a mask was one of the “most powerful tools” American have right now.

robert redfield scott atlas cdc trump coronavirus
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield testifies at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal response to the coronavirus on September 23.
Alex Edelman/ POOL/AFP/Getty

Redfield told senators on September 23 that it’s important to use masks if a vaccine is only 50 percent effective, because it’ll give immunity to only half the population.

In response, Trump, who called Redfield about his comment that masks could be more effective than a vaccine, said that a mask “perhaps helps” and that Redfield had “made a mistake,” a stance that Atlas supported.

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“There’s no sound science that shows that you should have all populations wear masks in all circumstances…and that is very much in concert with what is posted on the World Health Organization website and that’s very much in concert with the president’s own policy,” Atlas told CNN on September 18.

Newsweek reached out to Atlas, the CDC and the office of Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, for comments but did not receive responses in time for publication.

Trump, who is regularly tested for the coronavirus, started wearing a mask only in the summer and faced criticism for not embracing facial coverings earlier, in order to lead by example. He pushed back on mask wearing, often citing the earliest months of the outbreak when experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of

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