(CNN) — First lady Melania Trump on Sunday posted a video of herself wearing a mask during a visit to The Mary Elizabeth House last week, the first time the public has seen footage of the first lady in a face-covering in several weeks.
“It was a pleasure to spend time with the staff, mothers & children at The Mary Elizabeth House, a place that helps strengthen families & provides life skills, counseling & educational resources to help vulnerable single women & their children. #BeBest,” Trump wrote in a tweet accompanying the video.
Trump on Thursday made an unannounced visit to the ministry in Washington, DC, and while her Sunday tweet did not make mention of the coronavirus pandemic, the video showed the masked first lady waving to the camera and meeting with women and children. The first lady first posted about the importance of wearing a face-covering to prevent the spread of coronavirus in early April and encouraged their use in a tweet at the time that was accompanied by a photograph of her wearing a mask.
Trump’s spokesperson Stephanie Grisham told CNN that members of the first lady’s staff also wore masks during the entirety of the visit to the women’s program. Trump delivered box meals prepared by the White House kitchen team to the staff and participants at Mary Elizabeth House. Last week, she also instructed produce and vegetables from the White House Kitchen Garden, started by former first lady Michelle Obama, be sent there as well.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges everyone to wear a “cloth face cover when they have to go out in public,” noting that masks are critical in areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain since the coronavirus can spread between asymptomatic people and through respiratory droplets in the air.
But mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines have at times divided the East and West wings amid the broader cultural battle over whether to wear a face mask.
President Donald Trump wore a mask for the first time publicly when he made a visit Saturday to wounded veterans at Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland.
CNN previously reported that Trump’s agreement to don a mask in public was the result of heavy “pleading” by aides, who urged the President to set an example for his supporters by wearing a mask on the visit.