Trump Asks Reporter To Take off Mask During Press Briefing
Trump is facing criticism once again for not taking COVID-19 seriously, this time by asking a reporter to remove their mask during a press briefing.
The exchange took place on Monday with Reuters reporter Jeff Mason. Mason was asking Trump about controversial comments made about U.S. soldiers killed at war. While the exchange is brief, it is significant, showing that the President is still not fully understanding the importance of wearing a mask during this pandemic.
WATCH: President Trump told Reuters reporter Jeff Mason to take off his mask at a White House press conference, saying he was “very muffled.” Mason refused and said he would just speak louder https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/MfrsjkXaeL
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 7, 2020
When Mason begins to ask his question, Trump interrupts him, saying that the reporter sounded muffled. The briefing transcript shows that the President said, “You’re going to have to take that off.” Trump also asked how many feet away the reporter was, not taking into consideration that although Mason may have been socially distanced from the President, he was still surrounded by other reporters. Mason is being praised for not letting the President convince him to remove his mask, he stated twice that he would just have to “speak a lot louder.” Though the President appeared irritated, he did not press the matter any further, seemingly giving up when the reporter refused his request.
He tried to get a reporter to remove his mask. The reporter refused.
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) September 7, 2020
Trump has not been a strong advocate for wearing a mask, despite the CDC’s recommendation to use masks to slow the spread of the virus. He recently shamed Presidential Candidate Joe Biden after he said he would make wearing a mask mandatory if elected. Trump implied that this mandate would take away freedom from people. Later in the press conference, Trump even applauded a reporter who removed their mask to ask their question, saying that they sounded much clearer than those who refused.
Trump applauds a reporter for taking his mask off, saying how much clearer he is than the people who refuse to do
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) September 7, 2020