Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, has been one of the nation’s strongest proponents for mask wearing.
Which is why it was stunning to see the 78-year-old lower his mask and cough into his hand as he gave a speech, The Blaze reported.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden was mocked on social media Friday for flouting basic hygiene rules, after a video went viral showing him pulling down his protective mask mid-speech in order to cough into his hand.
The video shows Biden speaking to an audience in Nevada, when he pauses to lower his mask and cough into his hand — a practice that spreads more germs than coughing into the facial covering or his elbow. Biden then used the same hand to reapply and adjust the mask to his face.
“You can’t make this up. Joe Biden just removed his mask to cough in his hand. Talk about unsanitary!” Republican Rapid Response Director Steve Guest said.
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
But it is not the first time that Biden has been criticized for breaking the coronavirus safety protocols, Fox News reported.
During an interview in March CNN anchor Jake Tapper chastised Biden for coughing into his hand.
“You know, you’re supposed to cough into your elbow,” the host said. “I learned that, actually, covering your White House.”
“Actually, that’s true,” the former vice president said. “But fortunately, I’m alone in my home, but that’s OK. I agree you’re right.”
CNN's Jake Tapper just had to show Joe Biden how to properly cough during their interview. pic.twitter.com/SdA7Be69TW
— Francis Brennan (@FrancisBrennan) March 24, 2020
He was also wearing the mask incorrectly, below his nose and he did not even have to wear it. His audience was in their cars.
“Thank God Joe Biden is wearing his mask incorrectly to protect the people inside these cars,” Rapid Response Director Andrew Clark said.
Thank God Joe Biden is wearing his mask incorrectly to protect the people inside these cars. pic.twitter.com/phBdBqkD0Z
— Andrew Clark 🎃 (@AndrewHClark) October 9, 2020
Biden, along with his Democratic colleagues, has been a vocal proponent of mask wearing to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months, at a minimum,” he said in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware in August, NPR reported. “Every governor should mandate mandatory mask-wearing. The estimates by the experts are it will save over 40,000 lives.”
And in September he said that he believed, as president, he would have the authority to institute a national mask mandate, CBS News reported.
“Our legal team thinks I can do that, based upon the degree to which there’s a crisis in those states, and how bad things are for the country,” he said.
“Why do you wear a mask? To protect your neighbor? To keep someone else from getting sick and maybe dying. I call that patriotic. This is the United States of America. Every generation has made sacrifices to help others in moments of crisis,” he said in September.
“Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months, at a minimum. Every governor should mandate mandatory mask-wearing,” he said. “Let’s institute a mask mandate nationwide starting immediately, and we will save lives.”
But days later Biden changed his stance on a mask mandate.
“What presidents say matter,” he said. “People listen. I will make it clear what is needed to be done. I cannot mandate people wearing masks but we’ve just been told … we should expect another 215,000 dead by January. But if we wear a mask we save 100,000 of those lives, doing nothing but that.”