Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has sought to contrast his frequent use of a face mask with President Donald Trump’s reluctance to cover his face, with such critiques increasing in the days since Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.
Nevertheless, a review of the former vice president’s behavior throughout the public health crisis shows an inconsistent commitment to the preventative measure, as Breitbart’s Joel Pollak argued.
“Endangering the lives of all present”
Biden has faced scrutiny for a perceived overuse of face masks by some critics, including when he covered his face during a visit to an outdoor war memorial in his home state of Delaware in May. He appeared to be a safe distance from everyone except his wife, Jill.
Furthermore, he donned a face mask in August when the couple ventured out for a bicycle ride, Pollak noted.
In situations where wearing one might actually be appropriate, however, Biden has chosen to eschew the mask. Pollak cited several examples, including a video shot last month following a speech in Delaware.
“Biden walked by the press corps and responded to a few questions without putting his mask back on — endangering the lives of all present, as the media would say if Trump did it,” he wrote.
Another incident came days later when the nominee spoke to first responders — sans face mask — during a town hall event in Pennsylvania.
“Fumbles with it constantly”
Pollak also criticized Biden’s behavior even when wearing a mask, concluding that “he fumbles with it constantly, which is what doctors tell us explicitly not to do.”
Of course, Biden is not alone among Democrats in facing charges of hypocrisy over the issue of face masks. A maskless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), for instance, was caught on surveillance footage visiting a hair salon in apparent violation of local coronavirus restrictions.
Instead of apologizing, she held a press conference in which she complained about being the victim of a “setup,” as reported by CBS News.
Nevertheless, the Biden campaign has made face masks an issue late in the campaign, and the candidate himself stated during a recent town hall that anyone “who contracts the virus by essentially saying masks don’t matter, social distancing doesn’t matter” is ultimately “responsible for what happens to them.”
Given his own record, it remains to be seen whether voters want to see the nation follow Biden’s inconsistent lead.