Trump mocks Biden for wearing face mask as US coronavirus death toll nears 100,000

President and his presumptive 2020 opponent take much different approaches to public appearances during the Covid-19 outbreak

Chris Riotta
New York
Tuesday 26 May 2020 17:06 BST
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Donald Trump shares coffin meme featuring Joe Biden's campaign

President Donald Trump spent his Memorial Day weekend the same way he spent many others in the White House: golfing and attacking his enemies on Twitter, as the national coronavirus death toll neared 100,000 people.

The president shared a photo to his nearly 80 millions followers on Twitter featuring former Vice President Joe Biden wearing a black mask as he laid a wreath of flowers at the Delaware Memorial Bridge Veteran's Memorial Park.

Mr Trump retweeted the image from conservative political analyst Brit Hume, who captioned the photo: “This might help explain why Trump doesn’t like to wear a mask in public. Biden today.”

Sporting the black face mask and a pair of Ray Bans sunglasses, the former vice president and presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee visited the memorial on Monday to pay his respects as part of the American holiday.

“Never forget the sacrifices that these men and women made,” Mr Biden told reporters before leaving the memorial. “Never, ever, forget.”

Meanwhile, Mr Trump continued attacking his presumptive opponent in the general elections online, claiming the former vice president’s “handling of the H1N1 Swine Flue was a complete and total disaster” as backlash over his own administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic continued to mount in recent weeks.

At least 18 states have reported a rise in the number of new Covid-19 cases as the president demanded a further easing of national restrictions, deeming houses of worship “essential” and threatening governors not to disobey his orders to reopen churches and other religious institutions amid the outbreak.

“I call on governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now," Mr Trump said on Friday. “These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united … The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue and to their mosque."

The president reportedly golfed twice at his private club in Virginia, which the Biden campaign immediately spun into an advertisement slamming Mr Trump for his apparent inaction on curbing the spread of new infections.

Mr Trump also attacked former Republican representative and TV personality Joe Scarborough, promoting false and debunked conspiracy theories that alleged he murder his former staffer. A widow to the deceased staffer has since written a letter to Twitter’s CEO demanding a removal of those tweets.

The president barely mentioned the pandemic in his tweets, though he falsely claimed “cases, numbers and deaths are going down all over the country” in a tweet on Sunday. The number of cases are reportedly holding steady in about 22 states, while decreasing in just 10, according to a tally conducted by Johns Hopkins University.

He did, however, continue to attack Mr Biden on Twitter, calling him “Sleepy Joe Biden” and slamming his tenure as vice president. He also defended himself against criticism for golfing, calling the media “sick with hatred and dishonesty” for reporting on his activities during the weekend holiday.

“They are truly deranged!” he added. “They don’t mention Sleepy Joe’s poor work ethic.”

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