The first lady has been inconsistent when it comes to mask-wearing.
First lady Melania Trump broke safety guidelines at the Children's National Hospital when she removed her mask during a holiday visit on Tuesday.
The first lady took off her mask when reading "Oliver the Ornament Meets Marley & Joan and Abbey" by Todd Zimmerman to the children, with two sitting directly in front of her, the Hill noted.
"I'm very excited and looking forward to reading a book," she said.
She did not put her face covering back on as she left the facility, according to the outlet.
The hospital's policy requires "everyone" to wear face coverings "at all times while in any Children's National facility to prevent the spread of COVID-19."
As CNN reported, Mrs. Trump "practiced social distancing" during the visit but it was not clear if she had received any sort of special permission to remove her mask at any point.
Her latest action follows a pattern of inconsistency on the safety guideline, sometimes donning one — such as during a visit this past July to the Mary Elizabeth House, a nonprofit organization in D.C. that helps young, single mothers — while other times ignoring the safety measure altogether.
At an official White House meeting in July, she was pictured without one, despite others in the room keeping their face coverings on.
In November, the first lady was scrutinized for not wearing a mask to cast a ballot on Election Day in Palm Beach, Florida.
Earlier in October, she and Donald Trump's elder children, Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr., were all condemned for flouting Cleveland Clinic rules and taking off their face masks during the first presidential debate. A campaign adviser later defended the first family, saying "we believe in masks, but we also believe in some element of individual choice."
At a White House Halloween celebration, the first lady was also seen with her husband, neither of them wearing masks while meeting children during the annual trick or treating event, though the two remained socially distanced from guests. Both Melania and Donald Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus just weeks earlier.
Those positive tests appeared to stem from a September Rose Garden ceremony announcing Justice Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, where the first lady was pictured in the audience without a face covering.
The event later turned out to be the first White House "superspreader" event, prompting outbreak of infections among the guests. Several more outbreaks occurred in the weeks that followed as the White House shunned safety measures and continued to host large-scale events.
More recently, the White House has hosted holiday parties, despite a surge in coronavirus cases nationwide. At least one person, Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, has since tested positive for the virus, after attending one such party earlier in December.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.