Tapper: Trump ‘Mocked Those Who Wear Masks’ — Family, Team Refuse to Wear Them

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CNN anchor Jake Tapper accused President Donald Trump of refusing to “abide by his own administration’s health experts about how to avoid contracting this disease,” while discussing the president’s positive coronavirus diagnosis, Friday during the opening of his show “The Lead.”

Tapper said, “We begin today, of course, with the shocking news delivered in the wee small hours of the morning. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19, marking the greatest known health threat to a sitting U.S. president since Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981. Both President Trump and First Lady Trump are showing mild symptoms we’re told. And now there is a growing number of positive cases inside the White House. Let me start by saying on our broadcast today that, of course, everyone here at “The Lead” is hoping for a full and speedy recovery for President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Trump aid Hope Hicks, Republican Senator Mike Lee, the White House staffer who sits in the West Wing and, frankly, anyone out there who has contracted the virus.”

He continued, “But we must acknowledge President Trump has refused to abide by his own administration’s health experts about how to avoid contracting this disease. In recent months and as recently as the debate Tuesday night, the president has mocked those who wear masks even though the CDC director has said masks may be more effective than a vaccine when it comes to saving lives.”

In a video clip from the presidential debate, Trump said, “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he wears a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

Tapper continued, “Serious questions have been raised about the wanton disregard the Trump team has shown not only to their supporters by continuing to hold packed rallies with no masks required but the small crowd at the debate where members of the Trump campaign and Trump campaign guests did not wear masks during the debate. Some Trump guests, in fact, were offered masks by a Cleveland Clinic doctor only to be turned down. Now, there is evidence of disregard for the health and safety of others even after at least some in the White House learned that Trump aide Hope Hicks had tested positive and was, in fact showing symptoms. She felt ill. Even after that, President Trump flew to New Jersey, where he held a fundraiser. And the White House did not alert the Biden campaign that Hope Hicks or that President Trump had tested positive even though the Trump team’s actions at the debate put the Biden team at risk. And now again this morning at the White House, which really, to be frank, is a potential hot zone of the virus, some of the president’s advisers continued to not wear masks.”

He added, “We all sincerely wish the best for everyone at the White House battling this cruel and potentially deadly disease. But they continue to put others at risk, not only by setting bad examples, not only by failing in the pandemic response but now quite literally as carriers of the virus. Exposing not just fellow officials and senators or journalists or donors, but exposing the flight crews of Air Force One and Marine One, members of the military, or the waiters and support staff at Bedminster in New Jersey. Make no mistake, this was not just reckless behavior. This was a demonstration of a wanton disregard for human life.”

He concluded, “President Trump now in quarantine has become a symbol of his own failures. What’s still not clear, how many other people in Trump’s orbit have been infected?”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN