DC investigators went to Trump’s hotel after he was caught on video maskless at a GOP fundraiser


President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the Rose Garden at the White House on July 14, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

  • After dismissing the effectiveness of face masks for months, President Donald Trump softened his tone Monday, calling it “patriotic” to keep your face covered in public.
  • That same evening, however, he attended a GOP fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, where he and others in his group were captured on video maskless. 
  • “The president is the most tested man in America,” said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany when asked about the footage.
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser has required the use of face coverings since mid-May.
  • An Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration inspector visited the hotel on Wednesday, but employees and guests alike were masked at that time, according to the Washington Post.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to wear a face mask in public, even as health experts have stressed for months that they’re essential to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday, he changed course dramatically, tweeting a photo of himself wearing a face mask and commenting that it’s “patriotic” to wear one when people can’t socially distance. (Health experts recommend that people wear masks in all public settings.) 

Hours later, however, Madison Cawthorn, a 24-year-old Republican congressional candidate, shared an Instagram video of the president talking to people at Trump International Hotel at a GOP fundraiser. Neither Cawthorn nor the president kept their faces covered.

Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, his attorney Rudy Giuliani, and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) were also part of the crowd, but only Giuliani wore a face mask.

Well this was cool.

A post shared by Madison Cawthorn (@madisoncawthorn) on Jul 20, 2020 at 6:42pm PDT

At Tuesday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump was “acting appropriately” at the event.

“The president has always been consistent on this that masks are, according to the CDC, recommended but not required,” McEnany said.”

Even still, the actions of Trump and his cohort fly in the face of local coronavirus restrictions. 

Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser signed an order on May 13 requiring people to wear face masks when involved in essential business or travel where social distancing cannot be practiced. 

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration sent an inspector to the hotel on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported. The agency fines businesses with liquor licenses that violate city rules, but only if it observes those acts of non-compliance in person. Hotel employees and guests were masked during the inspector’s visit, an ABRA representative told the Post.

A Republican National Committee spokeswoman told the Post that coronavirus-related precautions were in place on Monday. People who attended were tested for COVID-19, had their temperatures checked, and were asked to fill out health questionnaires, the newspaper reported.

The United States is seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases and deaths after a broad swath of states reopened too early, health experts say. As of Thursday, the country has reported more than 4 million cases and at least 144,320 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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