Hours after Trump revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated Tuesday night’s presidential debate, told Fox and Friends on Friday that the Trump family did not wear masks at the event in Cleveland, breaking safety protocols established by the debate venue.
Wallace recounted that he and his family observed that Trump’s family was maskless during the debate Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic. Former vice president Joe Biden’s family and supporters were all wearing masks, the host said.
“Mrs. Trump came in wearing a mask but took it off once she sat down,” Wallace said. “I didn’t see when they came in, but all the other members of the first family that I saw there, including Ivanka, Tiffany, when they sat down, they weren’t wearing masks.”
Wallace echoed the accounts of several reporters who were present at the debate, who said Friday that before the debate started, someone from the Cleveland Clinic staff approached the first family and offered them masks in case they didn’t have them, and “they waved them away.”
Former Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie may have been exposed to the virus in Cleveland as he helped Trump prepare for the debate one day before the event. Christie confirmed Friday that no one present at that session wore masks, raising concerns about potential exposure of other members of the president’s close circle.
“No one was wearing masks in the room when we were prepping and the group was five, six people in total,” Christie told CNN.
CNN showed a backstage photograph of Christie and Rudolph W. Giuliani sitting close to each other with the president standing near them. None of them was wearing a mask.
Christie told CNN he will be tested this morning.
Frank Fahrenkopf, head of the Commission on Presidential Debates, declined to comment when asked Friday about the future of presidential and vice-presidential debates.