CNN’s Kaitlan Collins criticized President Trump Monday evening after video showed the president taking off his mask on an outdoor balcony — a criticism that prompted the president’s campaign to remind Collins of her own history of removing her mask, particularly when the cameras are off.
The president departed Walter Reed hospital after receiving treatment over the weekend for the novel coronavirus. Upon arriving at the White House, Trump stood on a balcony, removed his mask, and saluted Marine One.
“Yeah and let us remind viewers now that the president is on steroids and a drug that fewer than ten people outside of clinical trials have gotten inside the United States to deal with coronavirus,” Collins said on air.
“He had a level of treatment and a level of care that most Americans would not get. That’s understandable. He is the president of the United States; obviously everyone expects that,” she continued, questioning the message the president sent by removing his mask.
“But what the president is portraying by taking his mask off when he gets back to the Truman balcony to give this grand return to the White House is that everything is fine, and, as he said, don’t let coronavirus control your life,” she continued, adding that he is “very much still a president who has coronavirus.”
Despite the lights and the flags and the staged entrance that the president wants to create, he still has coronavirus and he is only a few days into the diagnosis. And Erin today his doctor didn’t reveal a lot of information as he hasn’t for the past two days, but he did still say that he will not breathe a sigh of relief until Monday. That’s a full week from today.
Only days into his diagnosis, the first thing President Trump does when he gets back to the White House is take his mask off. pic.twitter.com/kyqvHcSbIl
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 5, 2020
Trump’s campaign hit Collins back after her critique, posting a video of the reporter taking off her own mask in the White House briefing room after the cameras were off.
“CNN reporters like Kaitlin Collins [sic] obsess over masks when the cameras are on, but when they think they’re off, off comes their masks!” Team Trump remarked:
CNN reporters like Kaitlin Collins obsess over masks when the cameras are on, but when they think they’re off, off comes their masks!pic.twitter.com/IpPSvgDqhc
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) October 5, 2020
Critics of Collins also pointed out that Trump remained outside and was not in close proximity to others as he removed his mask:
Which is fine. No one is near him. https://t.co/aX584Xhs16
— jon gabriel (@exjon) October 5, 2020
Whatever, Mask Queen. pic.twitter.com/X3pNnnUbdB
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) October 6, 2020
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) October 6, 2020
The closest human being to him is about 100 feet away.
Can you please stop pandering? https://t.co/VeEYfEK5sP
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) October 6, 2020
Even Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) reacted to the widespread outrage over the president removing his mask, writing, “If you’re more worried about @realDonaldTrump unmasking on a balcony with no one close to him than you were by the Obama/Biden administration unmasking (aka illegally spying on) their political opponents, my diagnosis is you have TDS, & my prescription is to put down your phone”:
If you’re more worried about @realDonaldTrump unmasking on a balcony with no one close to him than you were by the Obama/Biden administration unmasking (aka illegally spying on) their political opponents, my diagnosis is you have TDS, & my prescription is to put down your phone.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) October 6, 2020
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020