Oct 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mark Meadows refuses to wear mask while talking to reporters in Capitol

Mark Meadows

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows refused to speak to reporters outside Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing on Monday after they requested that he keep his face mask on.

Why it matters: Meadows has been working out of the White House, which has become a hotspot for the coronavirus over the past two weeks.

  • Meadows has been in constant contact with President Trump, even during his stint at Walter Reed Medical Center when Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • White House physician Sean Conley announced on Saturday that Trump meets "CDC criteria for the safe discontinuation of isolation" and "is no longer considered a transmission risk to others," but never mentioned when Trump's last negative coronavirus test was.

Driving the news: A video of Meadows has been circulating on social media, in which he refuses to put on a mask after claiming to be standing 10 feet away from CNN reporter Kristin Wilson.

  • After receiving pushback from Wilson, Meadows begins walking away and says, "I'm not going to talk through a mask."
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who tested positive for COVID-19 a little over a week ago and has since said he received clearance from his physician, also received criticism for giving his opening statement at the confirmation hearing without a mask.

The big picture: This is not the first time Meadows has been in the news for disregarding CDC guidelines. In May, he hosted his daughter's 70-person indoor wedding in Atlanta despite major coronavirus lockdowns and local ordinances blocking large gatherings.

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