WASHINGTON – Ivanka Trump, daughter and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, says she wears a mask at the White House, and that’s one reason the president doesn’t have to.
“There are different procedures as it relates to interacting with the president,” Ivanka Trump told USA TODAY on Thursday when asked about criticism her father has gotten for declining to wear a mask in public.
The president “is tested on a daily basis – all those who come into contact with him are tested on a daily basis,” she said in an interview. “No one is in close proximity to him that isn’t wearing a mask.”
She added: “I always wear a mask when I am with the president, and everyone is instructed to do so as well.”
As has happened on previous trips, Trump was notably among the few people not wearing a mask during a tour of a medical supply distributor Thursday in Allentown, Pa.
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The president has come under criticism for largely ignoring the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, which advises Americans to wear masks in public and to self-quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Last week, the White House implemented new safety measures after two aides tested positive for the coronavirus and three members of the coronavirus task force entered quarantine after attending meetings with one of the staff members diagnosed with the disease.
The West Wing has mandated that anyone who is in close proximity to the president be tested daily and aides are required to wear masks when they are not at their desks.
Trump came under scrutiny during a similar visit earlier this month to a Honeywell facility that produces N95 masks in Phoenix, Arizona. He was not wearing a mask but later told reporters he wore a mask “back stage” before he was told it was not necessary.
Ivanka Trump said she has confidence that White House guidelines protect both the president and Vice President Mike Pence from illness.
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She also said she feels safe working in the office because “we’ve all been following the advice and guidance of the White House physicians and the CDC guidelines.”
Trump, who on Friday kicks off a new food distribution program, said she and other staff members are fighting the coronavirus crisis in a safe and responsible way.
“We’re focused on, obviously keeping one another safe and healthy and practicing social distancing, and being responsible in all of our actions,” Ivanka Trump. “But we’re also focused on the very important work that needs to be done.”
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