The Note: Biden sees masks as symbol and substance in drawing contrast with Trump
The TAKE with Rick Klein
Trump wore a mask Monday in leaving Walter Reed for the White House — but it didn’t stay on long. By the end of another extraordinary night, with an infected president urging people not to let COVID-19 “dominate” their lives, it may as well have never been on.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is calling that out, as he pleads for science over showmanship with a month to go before Election Day.
“Anybody who contracts the virus by essentially saying masks don’t matter, social distancing doesn’t matter, I think is responsible for what happens to them,” Biden said in Monday night’s NBC town hall. “What is this macho thing — ‘I’m not going to wear a mask?’ What’s the deal here? Big deal!”
Masks have been a big deal in this campaign because the president has made them so. Notwithstanding his own administration’s guidelines, Trump used masks as a political cudgel long before the stunning irresponsibility inside his White House and campaign appears to have contributed to the spread COVID-19 among the president and his inner circle.
Trump’s moves now are as incredible as they are predictable. Monday night he said in a video he tweeted out that now he might be “immune” from COVID-19, as he again promised a vaccine and treatments.
“Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen,” the president said.
The virus, though, has already