Melania Trump breaks children's hospital rules by taking her mask off to read to patients

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Dec 16, 2020, 04:21 PM(IST)

(File photo) Melania Trump Photograph:( AFP )

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The first lady arrived in the hospital's main atrium wearing a mask. When she took her seat in front of a tree, she removed the mask. Though she practised social distancing, the hospital's policy specifically requires all visitors to wear a mask.

US First Lady Melania Trump removed her face mask while reading a holiday story to patients at a children’s hospital in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, violating the hospital’s rules.

Melania, who has visited children at the hospital each year during her time as the first lady, continued the tradition despite the coronavirus pandemic and record cases in Washington, DC.

The first lady arrived in the hospital's main atrium wearing a mask. When she took her seat in front of a tree, she removed the mask. Though she practised social distancing, the hospital's policy specifically requires all visitors to wear a mask.

"Everyone must wear a mask at all times while in any Children's National facility to prevent the spread of COVID-19," the hospital's policy says.

That includes "wearing 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."

The first lady's office did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment on why she removed her mask and whether she got special permission to do so.

A White House readout of the event issued later Tuesday, however, noted: "Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event was limited in numbers of in-person participants and all guests were required to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing. The visit followed the hospital's mask protocols for public speakers, based on the District of Columbia health guidance, that wearing a mask is not required when a person is giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker. Throughout the holiday program, the First Lady was more than twelve feet away from others in the four-story atrium. Today's visit, broadcast to 325 inpatient hospital rooms, followed these guidelines."

Children's National spokeswoman Diana Troese cited Washington, DC, health regulations -- but not the hospital's own policy -- in response to CNN's request for comment.

(With inputs from agencies)

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