- Jason Miller, a senior adviser on President Donald Trump's reelection campaign, on Sunday criticized Joe Biden for his regular wearing of face masks.
- President Donald Trump, who announced on Friday that he positive for COVID-19, similarly criticized Biden for wearing face masks during their debate on Tuesday.
- "We can't all just stay in our basement for the rest of our lives," Miller said on ABC's "This Week."
- For months, Trump refused to publicly wear a face mask until he was photographed wearing one in July. But he's since held events that don't require masks and has rarely been seen wearing one.
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Despite President Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis and recent hospitalization, Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller on Sunday criticized Democratic nominee Joe Biden for being overly cautious in his approach to preventing the transmission of the novel coronavirus.
"Hasn't the caviler approach to masks and social distancing at these rallies been a mistake?" asked moderator George Stephanopoulos during ABC News's "This Week" on Sunday. "Will it change going forward?"
Miller disputed Stephanopoulos' characterization of the president's events, arguing that the president's campaign takes coronavirus precautions "very seriously" and give all of those in attendance masks should they want to wear them.
"With regard to Joe Biden, I think too often he's used the mask as a prop," Miller said. "A mask is very important, but he could be 20-30 feet away from the nearest person and still have the mask on. That's not going to change anything that's out there.
"But also we've seen with Joe Biden, we can't all just stay in our basement for the rest of our lives," Miller added. "We have to get out there and live our lives and take this on, develop the vaccine, develop more therapeutics, and defeat it."
At a debate between Trump and Biden on Tuesday, about 48 hours before the president announced he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19, Trump similarly called out Biden for his regular wearing of face masks, a frequent point of Trump's criticism toward his opponent.
"I don't wear face masks like him," Trump said at the Tuesday debate. "Every time you see him he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away … and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen."
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists and other health experts have been in agreement that the widespread adoption of face masks, particularly in indoor spaces and in other areas where proper social distancing is not possible, greatly reduces the risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus.
The president in June resumed his in-person campaign events and rallies, which have often involved mostly maskless attendees who don't practice social distancing recommendations. At least eight people, including the president and first lady, who attended an event to celebrate Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on September 26 have since tested positive for COVID-19.
For months, Trump refused to wear a face mask in public but wore one for the first time in July and called them "patriotic." Despite this, Trump has continued to attend and host events without requiring or wearing a facial covering.
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain died from COVID-19 about a month after he attended the president's indoor June 25 rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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