First Lady Melania Trump broke the COVID-19 protocols of the Children’s National Hospital on Tuesday (December 15) while reading a story to patients.
She practiced social distancing, but the hospital’s policy requires all visitors to wear a mask.
“Everyone must wear a mask at all times in any Children’s National facility to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the hospital’s policy states. It goes on to specify that visitors are required to “[wear] a mask when entering any Children’s National building, as mandated by area officials. This includes all public places such as the hallway and cafeteria,” and “wearing a mask at all times when you are around other individuals.”
Trump made her annual visit to the hospital in spite of a winter surge in coronavirus cases, and record hospitalization and death rates.
The White House made a statement that described other measures taken at the event. “Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event was limited in number of in-person participants and all guests were required to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing,” the statement read.
“Throughout the holiday program, the First Lady was more than twelve feet away from others in the four-story atrium.”
The hospital’s spokeswoman Diana Troese told CNN the first lady was within the health guidelines of Washington D.C.–– not the hospital's policy–– that says a person is not required to wear a mask while “giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker.”
“Our number one priority… is the safety of our patients, families and employees,” Troese added.
Back in October, Melania and her husband Donald Trump contracted COVID-19.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC News that even with antibodies from a previous infection, wearing a mask is still the best protocol since researchers are “not sure how long that protection lasts.”
Photo: Getty Images