White House, considered one of the most secure places on the earth, could not protect itself from the outbreak of novel coronavirus as some of the key aides as well as the first family have tested positive for the deadly virus till now. A new report has claimed that Donald Trump's dismissal of face masks and social distancing guidelines, which were ironically being strictly followed by his wife Melania Trump, is what led to the entry of COVID-19 illness in White House.
According to a report in Bloomberg, US President Donald Trump often expressed his fear against the virus, but at the same time was convinced that face masks can't protect him in any way. The POTUS reportedly went as far as to tell his aides to "take that f***ing thing off" when they showed up wearing one in the early days of the pandemic, saying: "It doesn't look good."
Instead, Trump's go-to resources to protect himself from the virus were Purell hand sanitiser and scrubbing his hands with medical wipes labelled "not for use on skin." The 74-year-old also reportedly darted to the other side of the room if someone sneezed, and was so scared of then-chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's lingering cough that he told him to stay at home when he left on a trip to India in February.
Meanwhile, the first lady strictly followed the CDC recommendations and was shocked seeing how her husband's team was hardly adhering to the guidelines. The 50-year-old ordered masks to be worn in the East Wing and instructed her aides to work from home unless absolutely necessary. Rank-and-file employees at the White House complex including cleaning crews, handymen, building engineers, and residence staff were among the first to follow the mask guidance carefully.
However, Melania also observed that the West Wing staff didn't always follow the guidelines and was at times taken aback to see her husband's aides maskless in close quarters. Therefore, she limited the number of aides traveling with her aboard Air Force One. On a different trip, the FLOTUS who herself later tested positive for the virus in October was "perplexed" to see none of the president's aides wearing masks.
People familiar with the incident claim that the former model asked if face masks would be worn and was told yes, but walked into a conference room to see Congress members without a face covering.
"What is wrong with these people?" she reportedly said.
Donald, Melania, and their 14-year-old son Barron Trump were diagnosed with the COVID-19 illness last month just days after the POTUS's first presidential debate against Joe Biden. The report also says that the first family wasn't notified when Trump's aide Hope Hicks fell ill with the disease on Sep. 30.