By WILL STEAKIN, JOHN SANTUCCI, and TERRANCE SMITH
(WASHINGTON) — On Wednesday, after images emerged appearing to show multiple instances of guests not wearing masks on Trump-owned properties, a Washington, D.C. investigator inspected President Donald Trump’s Washington hotel and found no violations related to the coronavirus.
The Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration said guests and staff were observed to be wearing face masks and coverings in compliance with Mayor Muriel Bowser’s regulations.
The agency said it will continue to monitor the president’s hotel for compliance.
A planned “No Masks Allowed” party scheduled to be held at the D.C. hotel this weekend appears to have been called off following ABC News’ report on the event, according to the Facebook events page which now reads: “This event was canceled.”
Wednesday’s inspection follows a report by ABC News that found multiple instances of guests and employees appearing to violate local state- and city-mandated face covering ordinances, including Trump attending a fundraiser Monday night appearing not wearing a mask.
While the president has for months refused to wear a face-covering in public, on Monday he tweeted an image of himself in a mask, writing that “many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance.”
But hours later, Trump held a fundraiser at Trump International Hotel in D.C., where multiple guests including the president, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Madison Cawthorn, who recently won a Republican primary runoff for a western North Carolina congressional seat, were all shown on camera at the hotel not wearing masks in the lobby. They were bunched closely together, not social distancing while the president and attendees did not appear to be eating or drinking, according to a video from the event posted by Cawthorn.
At Tuesday’s first White House coronavirus press briefing in weeks, the president was asked about not wearing a mask Monday night at his hotel. He claimed, despite video showing it not to be the case, that he was “pretty far away from people, but I would say this: I’ve explained it, I think, very well. If you’re close together, I would put on the mask.”
On May 13, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser implemented a face-covering order for people in public places. The website of the Trump hotel in Washington states that guests in common spaces such as the lobby are required to wear face coverings unless they’re eating. “The safety of our guests and employees remains our top priority,” the website states.
But in the clip from Monday night, the president addresses a small crowd of people who appear to be mostly not following city guidelines that state all hotel employees and guests wear masks.
The event site was sanitized beforehand and the White House Medical Unit and U.S. Secret Service evaluated all attendees prior to them gaining access to the event, according to Republican National Committee press secretary Mandi Merritt, who told ABC News, “All attendees tested negative for COVID-19 on the day of the event, completed a wellness questionnaire and passed a temperature screening.”
The Trump organization did not respond to a request for comment.
The Trump Hotel implemented the face mask policy to comply with the local ordinance in Washington, D.C. The policy, found on the Trump Hotel website, states “By government mandate, face coverings are required for all associates and guests while in public areas where social distancing is not possible. These areas include our lobby, elevators, guest corridors, and dining outlets.”
Other hotels across the nation are also looking to implement mandatory face-covering requirements for guests and others. Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International Arne Sorenson announced Monday that all guests will be required to wear face coverings at all 7,300 locations worldwide starting July 27. Staff has already been required to wear face coverings since April.
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