In an interview with ABC broadcast on Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump’s senior campaign adviser Jason Miller accused Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of using masks as a “prop,” The Hill reported.
Speaking with This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos, Miller questioned Biden’s approach to campaigning amid the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that the Democrat and his allies are taking social distancing too far.
“I’d say that with regard to Joe Biden, I think too often he’s used the mask as a prop. A mask is very important, but even if he’s — he could be 20, 30 feet away from the nearest person and still have the mask on.”
Miller argued that staying in the “basement” as the pandemic ravages the United States is not the best way to fight it. Rather, he posited, Americans should continue with their lives as experts work on developing treatments and cures.
“With Joe Biden, I mean, we can’t all just stay in our basement for the rest of our lives. We have to get out there and live our lives and take this on, develop the vaccine, develop more therapeutics, and defeat it,” he said.
In a statement, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said that the former vice president takes COVID-19 “seriously,” which is why he has been encouraging everyone to practice social distancing and wear masks.
Responding directly to Miller’s comments, she said that they show how Trump and his allies have “treated this from the outset.”
Trump has repeatedly mocked Biden for wearing masks.
During the first presidential debate earlier this week in Cleveland, Ohio, he ridiculed the former Delaware senator for wearing face coverings even when he is “200 feet away” from other people.
Unlike the commander-in-chief, Biden has consistently promoted mask-wearing as a means of protection against the dangerous virus.
"Too often, he's used masks as a prop" — Jason Miller shamelessly attacks Joe Biden for wearing a mask even as his boss is in the hospital with Covid pic.twitter.com/NdQbnzZupN
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 4, 2020
Miller’s attack on Biden came less than 48 hours after Trump was transported to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The commander-in-chief tested positive for coronavirus on Friday morning, but his condition, apparently, took a turn for the worse.
According to White House physician Dr. Sean P. Conley, Trump was given an experimental antibody cocktail following his diagnosis.
In an interview with Fox News on Saturday night, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows confirmed that Trump had a fever and that his blood oxygen levels were low. He said that Trump’s condition has improved but noted that the next 48 hours would be critical.
Biden and his wife Jill underwent PCR testing after Trump announced that he had COVID-19. Both of them tested negative.