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Pelosi: Trump should be wearing a mask

Pelosi: Trump should be wearing a mask
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Overnight Health Care: CDC expands definition of 'close contact' after COVID-19 report | GOP coronavirus bill blocked in Senate | OxyContin maker agrees to B settlement with Trump administration MORE (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE should be setting an example for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic by wearing a face mask in public.

Trump has declined to wear any facial covering in public since his administration began recommending last month that people wear masks to help reduce the spread of the virus.

On Tuesday, Trump notably didn't wear a mask while touring a Honeywell plant in Arizona that is making N95 respirators. Trump said during an Oval Office event Wednesday afternoon that he briefly wore a mask "backstage" at the facility.

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Pelosi has been wearing a facial covering in recent weeks, except while speaking in public such as on the House floor, press conferences and television interviews. She said that Trump should also be wearing a mask when appropriate to set an example for following his own administration's health guidelines.

"It's a vanity thing, I guess, with him," Pelosi said during an interview with MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports." "You'd think as the president of the United States, you would have the confidence to honor the guidance that you are giving others in the country. Yes, he should have worn a face mask."

"It's really another indication that as we tell everyone to wash their hands, 30 seconds, soap and water, top and bottom, wash your hands, hygiene and sanitation very important in fighting this. Apparently, the president has washed his hands of this," Pelosi said.

Trump and other officials on Tuesday's tour of the Honeywell facility were seen wearing safety googles, but not masks. Multiple signs in the factory instructed employees to wear masks, including one that stated: "Please wear your mask at all times."

A White House official said that the facility had said that the president and the other officials weren't required to wear masks but should take precautions.

Trump said while announcing the new recommendation that Americans wear facial coverings while out in public that he would not be wearing any himself.

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"I just don’t want to wear one myself. It’s a recommendation; they recommend it," Trump said at a press briefing in early April. "I don’t know, somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk — the great Resolute Desk — I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know. Somehow, I don’t see it for myself. I just don’t."

Vice President Pence also came under fire for declining to wear a mask during a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., while other officials around him did.

Pence initially defended his decision at the time, saying that he and Trump are regularly tested for the coronavirus and that he knew he wasn't contagious.

But Pence said Sunday during a Fox News town hall that he regretted not wearing a facial covering during the visit and noted that he wore a mask while touring a General Motors facility in Indiana two days later.

“I didn’t think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic,” he said during the Fox News town hall.

“I think it really is a statement about the American people, the way people have been willing to step forward, practice social distancing, wear masks in settings where they can’t do that,” Pence continued. “I couldn’t be more grateful to see how the American people responded.”

Pelosi also said that the Trump administration should be doing more to ensure that business shutdowns can be lifted safely so that people will feel confident resuming their usual activities that contribute to the economy.

"The fact is if you undermine science, if you underfund testing, if you exaggerate the opportunity that is out there for the economy at the risk of people dying, that's not a plan. Death is not an economic motivator," Pelosi said.

"When the science tells us that we can do something differently or to be socially distant, wearing your mask, doing things in a way that is appropriate," she added. "But not cheering people on, going with guns and swastikas to the legislature in Michigan, and saying these are really good people."

Trump had issued several tweets seen as supporting calls to "liberate" states such as Michigan and Minnesota from social distancing measures.

People were photographed protesting such measures in Michigan. Many were openly carrying guns, which is legal in Michigan's Capitol.

Updated: 2:25 p.m.