President Donald Trump’s family ignored coronavirus guidelines on Tuesday night at the presidential debate, forgoing masks as they sat in the audience.
Most of Trump’s children ― Donald Trump Jr, Tiffany Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump ― sat in a row sans masks despite doctors at the nearby Cleveland Clinic advising that guests do so to prevent the spread of the virus.
On social media, Ivanka Trump shared a snapshot of herself, Tiffany Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and Lara Trump, wearing masks ahead of the debate.
It appears that Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and others did wear masks into the venue and removed them at some point before sitting down.
Notably, Melania Trump both wore a mask into the venue and continued to wear it while seated. Former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, and his family wore masks.
At one point during the debate, a Cleveland Clinic doctor approached unmasked members of the audience ― on the president’s side of the room ― with masks in tow and asked them to put them on. A Bloomberg reporter on site claimed that the doctor told him she was refused and the audience members did not put masks on.
Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic, where the debate was held, published a list of some of the “risk-mitigation strategies have been developed to help protect everyone within the space.” In addition to “adding distance between seats,” they incorporated “personal health screening and safety measures” and offered disinfectant measures.
The topic of mask-wearing was quite contentious during the debate, with Donald Trump mocking Biden for wearing a mask too much and pushing back on the notion that people be told to wear masks.
After Biden argued that “masks make a big difference” and lives would’ve been saved had the president put out a mask-wearing mandate early in the pandemic, Donald Trump attempted to put the blame on infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, who said masks were not effective back in March.
Fauci would later change his advice the following month after research gleaned that the masks did help stop the spread of the virus.