Biden Uses Mask as 'Prop,' Says Trump Campaign Official, Days After President Diagnosed With COVID-19

Senior adviser to President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, Jason Miller, remarked Sunday that Democratic nominee Joe Biden uses masks as a prop and not as a means of warding off COVID-19—a diagnosis Trump himself received just days ago.

Miller said the Trump campaign has not been "cavalier" in regards to their treatment of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing practices, dismissing the numerous rallies and Rose Garden events held with no masks. The 2020 campaign senior adviser told ABC News' This Week on Sunday that Americans just want to "get life back to normal," and he accused Biden of wearing masks purely as political posturing.

Miller's remarks come just three days after Trump himself was diagnosed with coronavirus—and just over one week since the president mocked Biden at the first presidential debate for wearing "the biggest mask I've ever seen."

.@GStephanopoulos presses Jason Miller: “We’ve all seen the rallies without the masks. The Rose Garden event without the masks. (Trump’s) family refused to wear masks at the debate and the president seem pretty proud of that…will it change going forward?” https://t.co/iJpXFwk0u6 pic.twitter.com/vE7uJTP2Ak

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 4, 2020

"With regard to Joe Biden, I think too often he has used the mask as a prop," Miller told This Week host George Stephanopoulos. "A mask is very important, but even if he's 20 or 30 feet away from the nearest person and still have the mask on, that's not going to change anything that's out there. But also we've seen with Joe Biden, we can't all just stay in our basement for the rest of our lives."

"We have to get out there and live our lives and take this on," Miller continued. "Develop the vaccine, develop more therapeutics and defeat it. Americans want to get life back to normal. That's what's driving everyone's lives right now."

South Carolina GOP Congressman Tom Rice echoed this sentiment on Fox News earlier this week, saying he respects the president for being out in the world instead of "hiding in a basement" while first responders are expected to be on the frontlines of the pandemic.

The Biden campaign responded later on the program, saying the former vice president has promoted the wearing of masks since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

"[Miller's remark] tells you a lot of what you need to know about how the Trump campaign has treated this from the outset," responded Biden campaign communications director Kate Bedingfield. "Joe Biden believes that the words of a president matter, that the actions of a president matter. From the outset he has taken this seriously. He has encouraged Americans to wear masks and to protect each other."

Speaking at last week's debate in Cleveland, Trump said of Biden: "I don't wear masks like him, every time you see him he's got a mask, he could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen."

Stephanopoulos pressed Miller on how the campaign plans on being more careful moving forward—but the adviser from both the 2016 and 2020 Trump campaigns dismissed the notion that Trump has not been careful.

"We've all seen the rallies without the masks. The Rose Garden event without the masks. (Trump's) family refused to wear masks at the debate and the president seem pretty proud of that...will it change going forward?" the This Week host asked.

"I'll push back on that and say it hasn't been cavalier at all. We take it very seriously that's why we give everyone coming to rallies or events a mask, we check their temperature," Miller replied.

Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign for additional remarks Sunday morning.

jason miller trump campaign mask
Senior adviser to President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, Jason Miller, remarked Sunday that Democratic nominee Joe Biden uses masks as a prop and not as a means of warding off COVID-19 -- a diagnosis Trump himself received just days ago. Screenshot: Twitter