The nation was shaken on Friday with the news that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have both tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump ally Chris Christie was in the room ahead of the presidential debate this week and said that nobody was wearing masks.
During an interview on Friday morning, Christie said, “No one was wearing masks in the room when we were prepping the president during that period of time. The group was about five or six people in total.”
CNN’s John Berman noted that debate prep occurred on Monday in a small room.
It is not clear where Donald Trump and the first lady contracted the virus, but top White House aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus and flew with Trump on Air Force One to the debate on Tuesday.
Watch the video below:
Chris Christie, who helped the President with debate prep, says "no one was wearing masks" as "5 or 6 people" helped Trump get ready for the contest. The former New Jersey governor says he will be tested this morning. https://t.co/FwMpkJld3U pic.twitter.com/JrQmn1jcbD— CNN (@CNN) October 2, 2020
Ahead of the debate, the Cleveland Clinic and the Commission on Presidential Debates required everybody in the audience to be tested for COVID and to test negative. They also required everybody, with the exception of the candidates and the moderator, to wear masks.
But during a Friday morning interview, moderator Chris Wallace noted that the first family was not wearing masks. During a “Fox & Friends” appearance, Wallace said, “Everybody that was in that hall had tested negative.”
He continued, “The Cleveland Clinic would set up the safety rules [saying] that everybody in the hall with the exception of the president, the vice president and myself have to wear a mask. … On the Trump side of the hall, Mrs. Trump came in wearing a mask but took it off once she sat down … but all the other members of the first family that I saw there including Ivanka, Tiffany, when they sat down they weren’t wearing masks.”
Wallace also said that he was told by reporters that members of the Cleveland Clinic approached the first family and offered them masks but that they were waved away.
See Wallace’s remarks below:
On Fox & Friends, Chris Wallace recalls that members of the First Family were not wearing masks at the First Presidential Debate, "and people noticed that while they were all wearing masks … the First Family did not wear masks during the debate." pic.twitter.com/kE67qCxprQ— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) October 2, 2020
With just over a month until the presidential election, Donald Trump is likely to spend the next few weeks recovering from the virus.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has also tested positive for the virus, but an RNC spokesperson said on Friday that it was “after a member of her family tested positive for COVID-19.”
“She has been at her home in Michigan since last Saturday,” as RNC spokesperson added.