- 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.
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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.
—The Recount (@therecount) October 12, 2020
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