Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. was inspected Wednesday over potential mask violations after President Trump was seen talking to guests there earlier this week with his face uncovered.
D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered in May that staff and guests in common areas of hotels in the Capitol must wear masks.
She doubled down on her mandate Wednesday as the city’s coronavirus cases continue to rise and Trump’s hotel was among those to receive a visit to ensure they are complying with city rules.
Trump was seen making a maskless visit to Trump International Hotel in D.C. on Monday
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser doubled down on her mask mandates Wednesday requiring all people to wear one when they leave their homes as Trump International Hotel was investigated
The hotel faced a fine or a warning if found to be in violation of the mask mandate.
According to the mayor’s May order, hotels could be subject to ‘civil , criminal and administrative penalties … including civil fines or summary suspension or revocation of licence’ if caught out.
Infractions of a similar rule for employees not wearing masks in bars leads to a warning, followed by a $1,000 fine, before more extreme steps are taken for further violations.
The inspector from the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration found no mask violations in Trump International on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post, but the agency said that it will continue to monitor the hotel.
Inspectors can only issue a warning or a fine if they see a violation in person.
The check on the Trump D.C. hotel came two days after the president was filmed interacting closely with guests at a fundraiser, where the majority of people seen were not wearing masks.
Video emerged late Monday night of the president walking through the hotel, which is less than a mile from the White House, as he participated in a roundtable with supporters of a joint fundraising committee.
Also in tow, not adhering to D.C. masks guidelines, were Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and the president’s personal attorney and former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani.
The video specifically showed a moment the president, and his entourage, stopped to speak with Madison Cawthorn, the 24-year-old who won the Republican primary for Meadows’ seat in North Carolina’s 11th district, which he vacated when he joined the administration.
Captured on camera: Donald Trump made a mask-less visit to his Washington D.C. hotel for a fundraiser Monday evening with lawmakers, administration officials and other allies
Cawthorn also spoke with Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who did not wear a mask during the trip, and who’s seat the candidate is running for after Meadow’s stepped down to join the administration. Cawthorn posted the video to Instagram on Monday
The president made an introduction between Cawthron and Giuliani, who had a black mask pulled below his chin during the interaction and jokingly said ‘Don’t touch me’ when the candidate approached him for a handshake.
‘He won in North Carolina,’ Trump told Giuliani of Cawthorn, who is wheel-chair bound following a 2014 car accident that left him partially paralyzed. ‘He’s a great guy.’
Trump claimed on Tuesday that he did not need to wear a mask at the fundraiser because he was ‘far away’ from others, despite the video showing that he was not six feet apart.
‘I don’t know, the hotel – I was pretty far away from people,’ Trump said, noting that he and attendees had been tested for the deadly virus that has infected more than 3.5 million Americans.
‘If you’re close together I would put on the mask,’ he urged Americans, a turn around from his previous insistence that they were not needed.
Trump International Hotel in D.C. was not found to have any mask violations on Wednesday
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday expanded safety requirements in a forthcoming order requiring citizens to wear a face mask when leaving home
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president is fine not to wear a mask because she claims he is tested multiple times every day for coronavirus.
‘The president’s always been consistent on this, that masks, according to the CDC, are recommended but not required,’ McEnany told reporters during a press briefing Tuesday morning.
‘The president is the most tested man in America, he’s tested more than anyone – multiple times per day,’ she insisted. ‘And we believe that he’s acting appropriately.’
The Republican National Committee also defended the decision.
Press secretary Mandi Merritt told ABC News that the event site was sanitized beforehand and the White House Medical Unit and U.S. Secret Service evaluated all attendees.
‘All attendees tested negative for COVID-19 on the day of the event, completed a wellness questionnaire and passed a temperature screening,’ she said.
According to ABC News, this is not the first time that guests at the Trump D.C.. property have appeared to flout the mask rules, as the president himself gives mixed signals when it comes to covering faces.
It reported Tuesday that a birthday party scheduled for the hotel on Saturday had posted on social media a ‘NO MASKS ALLOWED’ disclaimer.
My Pillow CEO Michael Lindell, a vocal supporter of Trump, has also posted a maskless selfie of himself from the hotel’s lobby, as has far-right social media personality Tim Gionet.
The hotels’s own social media accounts have shown all guests and staff wearing masks.
Its website maintains that guests in common spaces such as the lobby are required to wear face coverings, unless they’re eating.
The party planned for the Trump International Hotel for Saturday said no masks allowed
My Pillow CEO Michael Lindell, a vocal supporter of Trump, posted a maskless selfie from a common area in the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. on July 8
‘The safety of our guests and employees remains our top priority’ the website states.
Mayor Bowser was dealing with the D.C.’s steady uptick in COVID-19 cases Wednesday by firming up the city’s mask policy telling residents of the capital that they must wear masks when they leave their homes.
She outlined some exceptions to the rule including for young children, if people are actively eating or drinking, or in an enclosed space, or if they’re vigorously exercising and able to stay six feet away from others.
The Washington Post reports, however, that penalties for violating the social distancing rules are rare and only four were issued in the past month.
It comes as Trump refused to say whether the federal properties in Washington, D.C. will follow the city’s lead in mandating mask-wearing outside in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
‘We’re going to make a decision over the next 24 hours,’ Trump replied instead. ‘We’ll let you know what that decision is.’
Trump allowed cameras to capture him wearing a mask for the first time during a July 12 trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He has since sent mixed messages on masks
The non-socially distanced, mask-less visit to Trump Hotel came as the president suggested Monday it’s ‘Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance.’ ‘There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President,’ Trump added
The D.C. mayor has no power to enforce mask-wearing at federal properties, like the White House.
After months, of refusing to wear a face covering in public, Trump finally tweeted a picture of himself in a mask Monday, claiming that it is patriotic to do so.
In a recent interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, however, he said that he would not consider a nationwide mask mandate.
There were 102 new cases of coronavirus reported in D.C. on Wednesday.
It is the highest daily total since there were 104 new cases on June 4.
The seven-day average had reached the low 30s but has more than doubled in the past weeks and local authorities struggle to get on top of a stubborn rate of community transmission.