Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez previously said the president should wear a mask if he visited South Florida

By Ashley Boucher
July 10, 2020 11:41 PM
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Donald Trump arriving at Miami International Airport on July 10, 2020
Johnny Louis/Getty Images

During his visit to South Florida on Friday, President Donald Trump did not wear a face mask to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) — despite local officials urging otherwise.

Trump was in Miami-Dade County on Friday to visit the U.S. Southern Command, attend a Venezuela roundtable and attend a fundraiser. After touching down, the president was photographed disembarking Air Force One without a mask.

Trump was scheduled to go straight to a church from the airport, The Miami Herald reported. As both religious institutions and facilities under federal jurisdiction are exempt from the mask rule, he too would have been exempt.

However, according to the paper, Trump deviated from the plan and instead stopped on the runway and greeted Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez — who is behind the mask mandate.

While Trump did not two wear the mask required for the interaction, Gimenez did and the pair did not shake hands, the Miami Herald reported.

Gimenez said last week that should Trump visit the county, he should wear a face covering just like everyone else.

"I believe the president like every other leader should follow what the rules are of the locality," Gimenez told reporters, according to local10.com.

"And so depending on the locality, if he comes to Miami-Dade I would expect that he would be wearing a mask, because that’s our rules down here," Gimenez said. "So, as the leader of Miami-Dade I’ll be wearing a mask. You’ll see me wearing the mask all the time. You have always seen me wear the mask when it’s appropriate. That’s what we should be doing … every citizen should be playing their part."

After his visits to the U.S. Southern Command and the church, Trump made an unannounced stop at his golf resort in Doral, Florida, and spent about 10 minutes in the clubhouse, according to the paper. It was not clear if he wore a mask while visiting the resort.

Gimenez told the Miami Herald after Trump's visit that "the president kept social distancing from our group as he exited the plane. It’s apparent the White House requires extraordinary measures."

Earlier this week, Gimenez signed an order mandating that several entertainment venues close as cases of the virus soar, though outdoor dining and gyms may remain open.

Miami is currently one of the country's COVID-19 hotspots, and Florida has been breaking its own single-day records for new positive cases in recent weeks — and did so on Thursday. As of Friday, the state had 244,151 total cases of the contagious respiratory virus, according to data from the Florida Department of Public Health.

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