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Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden was mocked on social media Friday for flouting basic hygiene rules, after a video went viral showing him pulling down his protective mask mid-speech in order to cough into his hand.
What are the details?
The video shows Biden speaking to an audience in Nevada, when he pauses to lower his mask and cough into his hand — a practice that spreads more germs than coughing into the facial covering or his elbow. Biden then used the same hand to reapply and adjust the mask to his face.
Biden, who has repeatedly pushed for a national mask mandate to stop the spread of COVID-19, was chastised by critics who accused him of hypocrisy.
“Second graders know to cough into their elbow!” one person tweeted in reaction. Someone else wrote, “Wait, either he & his disciples ‘believe in science’ or they don’t. The advice for coughs has been without equivocation: cough into a tissue (and discard), or cough into your elbow. How is this acceptable? Or is this more ‘rules for thee, but not for me’ from the ruling class?”
Another stated, “The whole point of the mask is to try and minimize the spread of virus carrying droplets into the air. By taking his mask off and coughing he is basically invalidating the mask, apart from of course spreading mucous (to) his hands and everything it touches.”
One person echoed a common refrain of Biden’s, simply commenting, “Come on, man!”
Fox News pointed out that Biden was called out for a similar move earlier this year.
The outlet reported, “This isn’t the first time Biden was criticized for his lack of sanitation. During an interview last March as the coronavirus outbreak was underway, the former VP similarly coughed into his hand but was immediately called out by CNN anchor Jake Tapper.”