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GOP chair defends Trump messaging on masks: 'To say that he should have known then what we know now isn't really fair'

GOP chair defends Trump messaging on masks: 'To say that he should have known then what we know now isn't really fair'
© RNC

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielSunday shows - Spotlight shifts to positive tests among Pence aides Republican National Committee chair warns of 'most progressive, radical takeover of our country' if Biden wins Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE on Sunday defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including his contradictory remarks on masks.

McDaniel defended Trump’s earlier remarks casting doubt on the effectiveness of masks, noting that Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci on latest surge: 'No matter how you look at it, it's not good news' Trump federal salary adviser resigns over order stripping worker protections White House to host swearing-in event for Barrett on Monday night MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, advised against wearing them earlier in the pandemic.

“I think 20/20 vision in hindsight is always perfect, but as a new pandemic hit our shores we were all being told by Dr. Fauci, the scientists that we shouldn’t wear masks,” McDaniel said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s a new virus … to say that he should have known then what we know now isn’t really fair.”

NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddLewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' Outgoing Va. Republican: Two-party system is failing Americans HHS secretary: Avoiding large gatherings 'a difficult message for all Western democracies' MORE noted that Trump “waited months” after health experts reached a consensus on masks to encourage their use. Since tweeting his support for masks, the president has mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Trump campaign eyes election night party at his sold-out DC hotel Harris blasts GOP for confirming Amy Coney Barrett: 'We won't forget this' MORE for wearing them.

“Do you not see a direct correlation between the president not encouraging mask-wearing and the fact that fewer Republicans wear masks than independents or Democrats?” Todd asked.

“I don’t think that it’s politically dividing at all, I wear a mask, my kids wear a mask, my husband wears a mask… the president wears a mask too,” McDaniel replied. “It’s sad that it’s become political.”

McDaniel went on to say the U.S. is “in the right space and moving forward with a vaccine” and accused Democrats of politicizing the crisis.

“Is there any way to look at this and compare it to the western world and say that we’ve done better than other countries?” Todd countered.

McDaniel responded by pointing to Biden accusing Trump of “xenophobia” in January.

“He’s not the president,” Todd replied.

“I think it’s disgusting to take a crisis in this country and try to lay it at the feet of the president, where’s the outrage at China?” McDaniel asked.

Todd also noted reports that political appointees are manipulating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on the virus and asked whether that could be considered politicizing the virus.

“I don’t know anything about that” McDaniel responded before attacking Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Businesses, wealthy brace for Biden tax hikes | Dow falls more than 650 points as COVID-19 cases rise, stimulus hopes fade | Kudlow doesn't expect Trump to release detailed economic plan before election Overnight Health Care: US sets a new record for average daily coronavirus cases | Meadows on pandemic response: 'We're not going to control it' | Pelosi blasts Trump for not agreeing to testing strategy Gaffes put spotlight on Meadows at tough time for Trump MORE (D-Calif.) for calling the virus “the Trump virus.”