Melania Trump was repeatedly ‘taken aback’ by White House staffers who did not wear face masks or appear to take coronavirus measures seriously, it has been reported.
The First Lady, her husband Donald and their son Barron all caught Covid-19 as the virus spread through the White House.
But Melania did make efforts to stop the spread of the virus, according to a Bloomberg report.
The outlet claims that Melania told her staff to work from home unless absolutely necessary and required them to wear face masks if they had to come into the East Wing.
Bloomberg reports that Melania appeared “taken aback” during multiple incidents when she came into contact with maskless White House staffers.
According to the outlet Melania subsequently decided to limit the number of aides traveling with her aboard Air Force One.
On one trip, she was reportedly “perplexed” to see none of the president’s aides wearing masks. On another flight, Melania reportedly asked if masks would be worn and was told yes. But when she walked into a conference room to greet members of Congress, no one had a face covering on.
“What is wrong with these people?” she later said, according to a Bloomberg source.
Donald Trump has repeatedly downplayed pandemic since it began and has also mocked mask-wearing and doubted their effectiveness, despite his health officials stressing their importance.
During the first presidential debate on 29 September, he openly mocked his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, for frequently wearing face masks. Two days later, the president tested positive for the coronavirus and required supplementary oxygen and hospital care.
Melania herself tested positive for Covid-19 at the same time as her husband, but was able to recover from home.
On the eve of the election Dr Deborah Birx, who has served as the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force since February 2020, told White House officials that the pandemic is entering a new and “deadly phase” that demands a more aggressive approach.
Trump’s repeated phrase that the pandemic is ’rounding the corner’ is not borne out by any of the evidence.
“We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic,” Dr Birx wrote, adding, “This is not about lockdowns — It hasn’t been about lockdowns since March or April. It’s about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented.”
Trump has openly hinted at firing Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, who has clashed repeatedly with the president.