First Lady Melania Trump’s office fired back at critics on Tuesday for attacking her about not wearing a mask while reading to children during her visit at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.
“Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event was limited in numbers of in-person participants and all guests were required to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing,” a statement from FLOTUS‘ office read.
“The visit followed the hospital’s mask protocols for public speakers, based on the District of Columbia health guidance, that wearing a mask is not required when a person is giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker,” the statement added.
“Throughout the holiday program, the First Lady was more than twelve feet away from others in the four-story atrium,” the statement concluded. “Today’s visit, broadcast to 325 inpatient hospital rooms, followed these guidelines.”
The press release from Melania Trump’s office also explained that during the visit, FLOTUS read “Oliver the Ornament Meets Marley [and] Joan and Abbey” to a “small group of socially-distanced patients and their families in the hospital’s atrium.”
And that the the first lady’s reading of the book from author Todd Zimmerman was “broadcast to the hospital’s 325 inpatient rooms” so “that children and their families could watch the reading from the safety of their rooms.”
The press release from Melania’s office followed reports from several outlets including CNN, The Hill and The Daily Beast with headlines that read “Melania Trump removes mask to read to young patients, breaking hospital’s rules” and “Melania Trump breaks children’s hospital rules by taking her mask off to read to patients.”