When it comes to coronavirus safety, some public officials who are avid proponents of face masks seem to have a tough time meeting their own expectations.
As a recent example, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was lambasted by critics for pulling his mask down during a campaign event and coughing directly into his hand, as reported by The Blaze.
“You can’t make this up”
The incident occurred during remarks he made in Nevada on Friday — and the clip soon started circulating on social media.
You can’t make this up.
Joe Biden just removed his mask to cough in his hand.
Talk about unsanitary! pic.twitter.com/4rwJvHA3LS
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 9, 2020
The move might appear unsanitary even in a normal situation, but it was particularly jarring in the middle of a pandemic — especially from someone who has made face masks a consistent theme of his White House bid.
“Second graders know to cough into their elbow!” one social media user wrote.
Another suggested that the video is evidence of “more ‘rules for thee, but not for me’ from the ruling class.”
“A constitutional issue”
Of course, Biden’s related gaffes date back to the earliest days of the pandemic, including a CNN interview in March during which he again coughed into his hand. That move prompted interviewer Jake Tapper to tell his guest that “you’re supposed to cough into your elbow.”
Biden acknowledged that Tapper was right, adding that he was alone at home for the interview.
“But, that’s OK,” the former vice president added with a grin. “You’re right. Excuse me.”
He has also faced backlash for his flip-flop on the issue of a nationwide mask mandate. Last month, he backed away from an earlier endorsement of the order, citing “a constitutional issue whether federal government could issue such a mandate” as the reason that he “wouldn’t issue a mandate.”
Even as President Donald Trump recovers from COVID-19 with a message that Americans should not live in fear of the virus, Biden continues to lead the charge for universal face-mask use, among other safeguards. As it turns out, though, he might not be the best role model.