Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden has accused President Trump of not taking mask-wearing seriously enough, but the Democrat himself may be unclear on the face-covering concept.
Mr. Biden pulled down his mask to cough into his hand during a drive-in rally Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada, which did not go unnoticed on the right.
“You can’t make this up,” tweeted Republican National Committee rapid-response director Steve Guest. “Joe Biden just removed his mask to cough in his hand. Talk about unsanitary!”
The video has since gone viral, as has a clip from the same speech in which he called for a “$15 million minimum, $15,000, $15 minimum wage,” as he pulled his mask down below his mouth.
“Biden dutifully lowers his mask and coughs into his hand. And that’s how it’s done folks!” tweeted Justin Hart. “Right?!”
It was unclear from the video whether Mr. Biden was within six feet of anyone as he spoke to the drive-in crowd from the podium.
In March, Mr. Biden received a scolding after coughing into his fist during a remote interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“You know, you’re supposed to cough into your elbow,” said Mr. Tapper.
Mr. Biden, who was not wearing a mask, replied: “Actually, that’s true, but fortunately I’m alone in my home.”
Mr. Biden has called as recently as Oct. 7 for “nationwide mask mandates,” although he said at an Oct. 5 town hall on NBC News that he would only enact a mandate on federal property, adding that he doubted the president could impose a national rule.
The Democratic presidential candidate also said that he “wasn’t surprised” that Mr. Trump had contracted the novel coronavirus, and criticized the president for taking off his mask after climbing the stairs to the White House following his Oct. 5 release from Walter Reed.
“I would hope the president, having gone through what he went through—and I’m glad he seems to be coming along pretty well—would communicate the right lesson to the American people: Masks matter,” said Mr. Biden. “These masks, they matter. It matters. It saves lives. It prevents the spread of the disease.”