When it comes to wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump has been the subject of scorn from his detractors and admiration from his supporters. At Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump’s family was front and center in the conversation about wearing masks indoors.
Guests at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland had been told that they needed to wear masks during the event. There were fewer than 100 people in attendance and they were advised to wear a mask and sit six-feet apart.
Four of Trump’s children were seated in the front row in full view of cameras. Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric and Tiffany were seen wearing masks as they headed to their seats but did not wear masks while seated, which violated event guidelines.
Seated alongside Trump’s four children was first lady Melania Trump, who had been wearing a mask when she entered but reportedly took the mask off after she sat.
Pictures showed Eric Trump’s wife, Lara, and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, not seated six-feet apart and both were not wearing masks.
Leading by example pic.twitter.com/i5eqjbn1AN
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 30, 2020
“Everyone in Biden’s side of the hall is wearing a mask,” Bloomberg political reporter Tyler Pager posted on Twitter. Pager, who was at the debate, also noted that “more than half on Trump’s side, including his four children, are not wearing masks.”
Pager’s tweet got nearly 18,000 likes.
Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, was seen wearing a mask when she walked on the debate stage. Melania Trump was not wearing a mask.
When asked about masks by debate moderator Chris Wallace, President Trump responded: “I think masks are O.K.” He then pulled out a mask from his suit jacket to reveal he was carrying one.
“I put a mask on, you know, when I think I need it. Tonight is an example, everybody has had a test. I wear a mask when needed. When needed, I wear masks,” Trump said.
Caption this photo. Wrong answers only. pic.twitter.com/pxc3vakj58
— Barry Lyga (@barrylyga) September 30, 2020
#LoserTrumpKids seen not wearing masks during the first presidential debate. Clinic doctor asked unmasked members of the audience on Trump’s side during the debate to put on masks and was refused. Only @FLOTUS (Melania Trump) is wearing one. J. WATSON VIA GETTY IMAGES pic.twitter.com/fqN5cdkC0H
— Rev. Daniel J. Borysewicz (@danielbtoz) September 30, 2020