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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had a lot to say about social distancing and wearing face masks during a CNN town hall but it was apparently a different story when the cameras stopped rolling.
Biden and CNN host Anderson Cooper were pilloried on social media Thursday when viewers called them out for not following their own rules. The two stood several feet apart during the event but, once cameras were off for a commercial break, Biden approached Cooper who leaned in to hear what he had to say.
CNN had driven home the point about coronavirus guidelines, after regular attacks on President Trump and his supporters at campaign rallies, announcing protocols in place for the town hall which was a “drive-in” event at a parking lot in Pennsylvania with only 35 cars allowed.
“CNN is following all of the local guidelines and restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the network had explained, “and everybody attending and working the town hall will have their temperatures taken and will answer screening questions.”
While Biden and Cooper were maskless, they maintained social distancing through the on-air portions of the event. But when cameras pulled back at one point after Cooper announced a commercial break, the former vice president could be seen walking over to speak to the CNN host. Cooper could be seen leaning in to give the former vice president his ear.
“OH! Looks like mask-mandate Joe only believes in social distancing when the cameras are on,” Fox News’ Pete Hegseth said in a video he posted of the town hall moment.
— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) September 18, 2020
Biden attacked Trump during the event for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming — with no pushback from Cooper — that “all the people would still be alive” if he had done his job.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) September 18, 2020
Biden also claimed that, if elected, he can and will mandate the wearing of masks on federal property.
Viewers unloaded on Biden, and Cooper, for the double standard and hypocrisy.
The Reagan Battalion tweeted that the two were “pretend practicing social distancing” while cameras were running, “but watch what happens when they think the cameras are off and you can’t see them anymore!”
“Where’s the outdoor government court to issue them a fine???” GOP spokesperson Elizabeth Harrington asked.
One would be naïve to think that the “rules” apply to the ruling and media elite.
— Phil Barackman (@soarski) September 18, 2020
Hypocrites, both of them.
— 🇺🇸Mary🇺🇸 (@MaryDianeGail) September 18, 2020
It’s all a deceitful show.
— Andrew Soneson (@AndrewSoneson) September 18, 2020
Of course, some were quick to point out that both men were tested before the event, and are likely tested daily.
They said at the beginning of filming that they both tested negative today 🙄 – why so sensitive? 👶🏼❄️
— Suz (@cukesandmint) September 18, 2020
Cooper confirmed he tested negative before the Town Hall. Biden is tested daily.
Majority of social distancing and mask wearing is to set an example to the population. A vitally important example that Trump has never set.
— KJG71 (@ngokoko123) September 18, 2020
But they tested positive for hypocrisy.
— Brain (@waddatwit) September 18, 2020
That argument only seems to go one way however, as explanations about Trump’s daily coronavirus tests are dismissed by his critics as excuses.
Yep, basically, they think (and know) it’s ok to have some social interaction, but force national mandates on to people… in the name of “patriotism” and “safety” 🤮
— Septicon 🤖🎺 (@septiconwarrior) September 18, 2020
— jason timss 🏴☠️🇬🇧🏴🇺🇸🇦🇹🏴☠️6% (@meatwad68) September 18, 2020
Can you catch Covid if the cameras aren’t rolling?
— Steve Bell (@stevebell70) September 18, 2020
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