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Maskless Melania Trump at Girl Scout event spurs questions about necessity of face covering

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have drawn some criticism for meeting with a group of masked Girl Scouts from Maryland at the White House this Friday while not wearing masks themselves.

While the lack of a mask by the president wasn’t unusual, as he’s shown no interest in wearing one, the lack of a mask by the first lady was surprising given what she’d tweeted about exactly a month ago.

Look:

To some, her refusal to don a mask — particularly while meeting with children — suggested her previous tweet was nothing but a publicity stunt.

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Sure, except the first lady has done more than just issue PSAs — she’s also taken concrete steps to aid health workers in need.

The Girl Scouts were among a group of American heroes who appeared at the White House on Friday to be honored for their efforts on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The men and women we honor today remind us that the bonds that unite us in times of hardship can also raise us to new heights as we reopen and recover and rebuild,” the president said during a Rose Garden ceremony.

Turning to the Girl Scouts, he added, “We’re joined by three terrific Girl Scouts. …. These amazing 10-year-olds have donated 100 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to local firefighters, doctors and nurses, and have sent approximately 200 personalized cards to healthcare workers all over — and they’re going to do a lot more.”

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Listen to the full speech below:

The first lady didn’t speak, though she did post a tweet about the event that, surprisingly enough, hasn’t been ratioed, despite the anger against her.

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In fact, judging by the positive responses the tweet generated, it seems the backlash against the first lady may not be as prevalent as one would think.

Case in point:

The lack of backlash may stem from emerging reports that masks may not be as beneficial for stopping the spread of the coronavirus as originally thought.

In a blog posted earlier this month (but after the first lady’s mid-April tweet about masks), retired neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock argued that “masks pose a serious risk to the healthy.”

“[T]here is no scientific evidence necessitating the wearing of a face mask for prevention,” he wrote before delving into the reasons for not wearing one.

“Several studies have indeed found significant problems with wearing such a mask. This can vary from headaches, to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications.”

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Perhaps the reason the first lady abstained from wearing a mask Friday was because she’d read Blaylock’s piece? It’s certainly possible.

In fact, she and the president weren’t the only ones at the event to not don a mask. Neither did one of the honorees, Amy Ford, a nurse from West Virginia who’d reportedly traveled to New York to help a hospital overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

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(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Perhaps she too has read Blaylock’s piece.

Vivek Saxena

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