President Donald Trump this week accused a reporter of trying to be “politically correct” by wearing a mask during an outdoor press conference, which led some prominent Democrats to criticize his stance.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), for example, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that the president was setting a “terrible example,” as Breitbart reported — although the Democrat did so while her own face remained uncovered.
“That is a success for him”
“The president has been a terrible example of not wearing a mask, belittling those who do,” Pelosi said, describing the president’s opposition to the recommended safety measure as “a distraction” from the humanitarian impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Breitbart.
“People are dying,” she continued. “Rome is burning, and all people want to talk about is what he said next about this. That is a success for him.”
Pelosi went on to describe those who refuse to wear a mask as “very selfish” before segueing into a more general attack on the president’s leadership. She complained that the Trump administration has been “a failure in terms of what we’re doing when testing and tracing and treating and isolating people,” Breitbart noted.
Other Democratic leaders, including presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden, took their own swipes at the president’s decision to forego a face mask.
“The president’s supposed to lead by example,” Biden said during an interview on Tuesday, according to Fox News. “I watched the president yesterday wearing no mask — and some making fun of the fact that I wore a mask — the truth of the matter that I think you’re supposed to lead by example.”
“It’s costing people’s lives”
The former vice president continued his pointed opprobrium by calling Trump “an absolute fool” engaging in “this macho stuff.”
Biden cited medical experts who recommend wearing a face mask when in public to slow the spread of the virus, suggesting the president’s rhetoric is having real-world consequences.
“It costs people’s lives,” he said, according to Fox. “It’s costing people’s lives. It’s stoking deaths.”
Although Biden was seen wearing a mask during a Memorial Day ceremony and made a video encouraging others to do so, he did not cover his face during the interview conducted outside of his home, according to the Associated Press.
While a majority of experts recommend wearing a face mask when social distancing is impossible, this ongoing pandemic continues to prove there is much we still do not know about COVID-19.