Trump Hotel Tells People to Wear Masks. But Its Owner Won’t.

The president cannot bring himself to take a simple step to help the nation.

Police officers stand in front of the Trump International Hotel amid protests on June 3.Sue Dorfman/ZUMA

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Donald Trump did it again. Or, that is, didn’t do it again. On Thursday morning, he appeared in the White House briefing room to take credit for the newest jobs numbers and to talk up the economy. He discussed the coronavirus pandemic almost as an afterthought. He didn’t acknowledge the recent nationwide surge in cases and instead said there were “some areas where we are putting out the flames of the fire.” Not really. The flames are spreading.

And once more Trump did not advise Americans to wear masks. He did say, “Wash your hands.” But there was no encouragement from him about donning face coverings—the most basic action that can be taken to thwart the pandemic and save the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. Needless to say, he wasn’t wearing a mask himself.

Trump just can’t seem to bring himself to support this fundamental step championed by medical experts, scientists, and the entire public health community. Not even if his own business does.

The Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, and its bars and restaurants are open for business these days. But if you want to enter the establishment—which Trump and his family own through the Trump Organization—you need to wear a mask, as required by the DC government.

Here’s what the hotel’s website says:

Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. remains open for our guests due to its designation as an essential business. The safety of our guests and employees remains our top priority. 

Benjamin Bar & Lounge is now fully open! In line with the city’s Phase 2 authorization, we will be serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails in our expansive Grand Lobby setting. In-Room Dining for our hotel guests remains available. Please note that face coverings are required when entering the hotel and in all common areas, except when eating or drinking. We will only seat groups of up to six people at this time. For the safety of all, guests should remain mindful of social distancing and frequent hand washing.    

In this ever-changing environment, please know that we will continue to post updates at this site for any and all changes to our policies as we continue to abide by all government requirements and recommendations. Learn more about our commitment to health and safety HERE.

So the Trump Organization is committed to health and safety, even though its owner is not. Of course, this commitment is not a choice of the hotel’s management: In the spring, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered the use of masks within businesses. Fortunately for its employees and customers, the Trump Hotel is following the guidelines set by responsible public officials, not the example set by its namesake. 

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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