The First Lady failed to follow coronavirus policy while reading a book to children receiving treatment at Children’s National Hospital. She ensured she paid her annual visit to the centre despite the soaring number of coronavirus infections in Washington DC.
But Ms Trump faced backlash for not wearing a face mask as she sat in front of a tree to address the crowds.
The hospital’s guidelines, which are published on the hospital’s website in English and Spanish, indicate that all visitors must be wearing a mask within its grounds.
The statement reads: “During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Children’s National is taking extra steps to protect our patients, families and staff.
“We screen patients and parents/caregivers for the following COVID-19 symptoms at our Welcome Desks and check-in areas at all locations: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and/or respiratory symptoms.”
The statement highlighted that the correct type of masks to wear was described on the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
It added: “In addition, all staff, families/caregivers and visitors must wear a mask at all times while in any Children’s National facility to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“For guidance on what masks to use, please refer to the CDC guidelines.”
But the former model faced scrutiny on social media over her decision with some accusing her of endangering vulnerable children.
“The hospital and public health officials are trying to encourage mask wearing and she advertises that is not important.
“Not the place to make a protest. Stay home if you can’t comply. No one will miss her anyway.”
Some simply claimed Ms Trump “does not care” about the guidance.
Children’s National spokeswoman Diana Troese told CNN the First Lady was complying with DC guidelines when speaking to patients.
However, she made no mention of the hospital’s own rules in her statement.
She said: “Our number one priority at Children’s National Hospital is the safety of our patients, families and employees.
“Under DC Health regulations, wearing a mask is not required when a person is giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker.
“In the case of today’s visit which was broadcast to our 325 patients, while the First Lady did remove her mask while she read a story, she was more than 12 feet away from others in our large atrium. All other people in that space were wearing masks. The remainder of her visit, she wore a mask.”