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Stephanopoulos pushes Trump campaign adviser on president’s limited mask-wearing

ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday pressed President Trump’s senior campaign adviser Jason Miller on the president’s limited mask-wearing following Trump’s positive coronavirus test late last week. 

Miller stood by the president during his appearance on “This Week,” pushing back after Stephanopoulos pointed out that Trump “didn’t have to continue to go to event after event without wearing a mask.”

“I’d push back on that because President Trump is one of the most tested people in the entire country, and there’s a lot we still don’t know about this virus,” he said.

Miller also described the safety routines he has gone through before meeting with the president, including testing an hour before physically meeting, keeping distance from the president, checking his temperature, using hand sanitizer and washing his hands.

“So even with all of these things in place, we’ve seen where President Trump did contract COVID, but he’s one of the most safe people that’s out there,” he added, noting that Trump has worn a mask in places where he “can’t socially distance” and has encouraged people to wear masks. 

Stephanopoulos sparred with Miller about the “cavalier” approach to mask-wearing and social distancing at Trump events, saying that “we’ve all seen the rallies without the masks” and asking whether it will “change going forward.”

“Again, I’ll push back on that and say it hasn’t been cavalier at all,” Miller responded. “We take it very seriously. That’s why we give everyone coming to rallies or to events — we give them masks. We check their temperature.”

Miller also said he disagreed with the new ABC News-Ipsos that found 72 percent of Americans believe the president didn’t take the risk of contract COVID-19 seriously enough, citing Trump’s moves to limit travel from China and Europe in the early stages of the pandemic. 

“George, I think there’s a really important point here is President Trump had to take this head-on,” he said. “He had to get out there as the leader not just of the country but of the free world and take this head-on.”

Trump was moved to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Friday, hours after announcing he and first lady Melania Trump had contracted the virus.

The president has been seen in public wearing a mask a few times, including during a previous visit to Walter Reed and when paying respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump face masks George Stephanopoulos Masks Melania Trump Pandemic Ruth Bader Ginsburg Sunday shows Trump positive test Trump rallies

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