Melania Trump Removes Face Mask During Book Reading At Children's Hospital

First lady Melania Trump visited Children's National Hospital in Washington D.C. this week where she broke hospital policy while reading a holiday book to children without wearing a face mask.

As CNN reported, Trump wore a mask while entering the premises, but once she sat down in front of a Christmas tree and prepared to read the story, she removed the mask from her face.

According to the hospital's policy, everyone inside the facility must wear a mask at all times to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

However, Trump was noticeably without a mask while continuing her annual Christmas tradition of visiting the hospital to read to children, despite the ongoing pandemic.

There were only two children in the main atrium and they were reportedly seated at a safe social distance while the first lady read the book Oliver the Ornament Meets Marley & Joan and Abbey by Todd Zimmerman. Meanwhile, more than 300 other patients throughout the hospital tuned in virtually to listen to the story.

Following the event on Tuesday, a White House readout defended Trump's decision to opt out of wearing a mask.

As per the readout, the event limited in-person attendees who were all required to wear face masks. The first lady herself was exempt from this requirement because in accordance to DC health guidance, "wearing a mask is not required when a person is giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker."

"Throughout the holiday program, the First Lady was more than twelve feet away from others in the four-story atrium," the notice states. "Today's visit, broadcast to 325 inpatient hospital rooms, followed these guidelines."

Children's National spokeswoman Diana Troese confirmed Trump's actions were in line with state health guidance, though made no mention of the hospital's specific mask protocols.

"Our number one priority at Children's National Hospital is the safety of our patients, families and employees," she told CNN. "Under DC Health regulations, wearing a mask is not required when a person is giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker."

Troese continued, "In the case of today's visit which was broadcast to our 325 patients, while the First Lady did remove her mask while she read a story, she was more than 12 feet away from others in our large atrium. All other people in that space were wearing masks. The remainder of her visit, she wore a mask."

h/t: CNN