wear a mask
October 29, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government's top coronavirus expert, said Wednesday he believes the Trump administration needs to instate a nationwide mask mandate. "If we don't get one, then I would hope that the governors and the mayors do it locally, if it's not done nationally," Fauci told CNBC's Shepard Smith on his Wednesday evening show.

But Smith was confused by Fauci's "hope," asking if he was "still in the president's ear." "I haven't spoken to the president in quite a while about the situation with regard to the outbreak," Fauci said, again saying the U.S. needs, "mandate or not," to wear masks.

Fauci's recommendation comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record highs in 13 states. The U.S. also recorded 80,662 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, close to a new high as well. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 12, 2020

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows isn't willing to work within mask guidelines.

After President Trump tested positive for COVID-19 10 days ago, Meadows stayed close, even accompanying him to the hospital and back again. But Meadows also hasn't stopped traveling around the Capitol after his exposure to COVID-19.

On Monday, Meadows ran into reporters outside of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and took his mask off to answer their questions. When they asked him to put his mask back on, Meadows did so — and then walked away, saying "I'm not going to talk through the mask."

Meadows wasn't the only one in Washington refusing to wear a mask on Monday. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who tested positive for COVID-19 just 10 days ago, gave his opening statement at Barrett's hearing without a mask on despite the fact that he could've done so from home. Kathryn Krawczyk

July 30, 2020

Florida reported 253 new coronavirus deaths on Thursday, setting another record as case numbers begin to level off.

Florida has broken its daily death count records for the past three days in a row, with 186 COVID-19-related deaths reported Tuesday and 216 reported Wednesday. The state also reported another 9,956 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing its total case count to over 461,000, as well as more than 500 new coronavirus hospitalizations. New case numbers have been under 10,000 for five straight days now, but hospitalizations keep surging.

Only 18 of the deaths reported Thursday actually occurred within the past 24 hours; more than half of those happened at least a week ago. Florida and other recently hard-hit states have faced case and death reporting delays as those numbers overwhelm public health departments.

Florida, along with Texas, has continued to lead the recent surge of coronavirus cases across the south and west of the U.S.; all but one of the top 10 growing coronavirus hotspots are in those states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California and Arizona have also continued to report surging numbers. Kathryn Krawczyk

July 29, 2020

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) knowingly put his colleagues in danger after testing positive for COVID-19.

The far-right congressmember and coronavirus skeptic has publicly refused to wear a mask even when talking to Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday. And after testing positive for the virus Wednesday, he then went to the Rayburn House office building and told his staff about his diagnosis in person, Politico reports.

No one is apparently thrilled with Gohmert right now, least of all Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who wished Gohmert a "speedy recovery" and then reminded House members, once again, to wear masks. Nadler called out several House members for forgoing them during Tuesday's House Judiciary Committee hearing with Barr, whom a maskless Gohmert had just talked to.

Politico's Jake Sherman wasn't exactly happy about the lack of testing happening in Congress either. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have opposed getting rapid tests for legislators despite urging from two Republican senators. Kathryn Krawczyk

July 22, 2020

After President Trump was filmed not wearing a mask while at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., an inspector with the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration paid the property a visit on Wednesday to check for compliance with city rules.

View this post on Instagram

Well this was cool.

A post shared by Madison Cawthorn (@madisoncawthorn) on

To slow down the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered in the spring that people wear face coverings while in D.C. hotel lobbies and common areas. On Monday, Trump went to his hotel for a GOP fundraiser, and video later posted online showed him, as well as several other people in the lobby, not wearing masks.

D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration inspectors can only issue a fine or warning if they witness violations in person, and during Wednesday's investigation, the inspector saw that all hotel staffers and visitors were wearing face coverings, The Washington Post reports.

A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee told the Post that before the fundraiser, guests had to be tested for coronavirus, answer wellness questionnaires, and have their temperatures taken. Before making his maskless appearance, Trump tweeted a photo showing him with a face covering and declared that "many people say it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can't socially distance." Catherine Garcia

July 13, 2020

American Airlines on Monday said it contacted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) after a photo of him not wearing a mask on a Sunday morning flight went viral, and affirmed with him "the importance" of the company's face covering policy.

Hosseh Enad, a marketing associate for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, tweeted a picture on Sunday night showing a maskless Cruz sitting in his seat, his cellphone in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. Enad also tweeted a photo he said was of Cruz sitting outside the gate, not wearing a mask.

Since May 12, American Airlines has required that customers wear face masks while on board. In a statement to Reuters, the company said it expects passengers "to comply with our policies when they choose to travel with us." While the mask policy "does not apply while eating or drinking," the airline said, after reviewing the photo it still "reached out to Sen. Cruz to affirm the importance of this policy as part of our commitment to protecting the health and safety of the traveling public."

The Washington Post asked Cruz's office for comment, and representatives have yet to respond. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads