However, moments after the president left – Karl stood up and removed his face mask when he thought the cameras were turned off. The ABC News chief correspondent for the White House was later seen chatting with colleagues without any mask.
Karl himself was known to lecture the president’s supporters about their refusal to wear masks. In May, he tweeted pictures of an event in the White House's Rose Garden and pointed out how "almost everybody" who attended wore face masks. Later, he reposted a tweet by Trump campaign adviser Marc Lotter that featured attendees devoid of face coverings.
The Nov. 24 incident with Karl was not the first event where a mainstream media journalist removed their face masks when they thought cameras were off. The New York Post reported back in May that reporter Kaitlin Collins promptly took off her mask as soon as White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany wrapped up a press conference. Collins' actions contrasted with other reporters at the May 16 briefing, who kept their face coverings on and maintained physical distance from one another.
A number of conservative figures immediately slammed Karl for his hypocritical behavior.
Author and media analyst Mark Dice said in a tweet that the ABC News reporter's behavior after the press briefing proved mainstream media personalities are the "ultimate hypocrites … for the millionth time." Actor and YouTuber Steven Crowder posted a picture of Karl's past admonishments, which he captioned "hypocrite." Townhall senior writer Julio Rosas remarked on the same pictures: "It's all for show."
Aside from mainstream media journalists, some politicians have been under fire for urging people to wear masks – while they themselves do not.
In October, PageSix.com reported that news anchor Chris Cuomo was spotted in New York City not wearing a mask and refusing to practice social distancing. The Oct. 26 report by Carlos Greer said tipsters saw Cuomo "hobnobbing without a mask and acting like he was the mayor." The anchor is a staunch advocate for mask-wearing, exhorting people to do so in his Cuomo Prime Time news program.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the news anchor's elder brother, likewise refused to wear a mask during an Oct. 5 press conference. He subsequently defended his decision not to wear a mask the next day, saying that he was six feet away from reporters anyway. (Related: Cuomo receives Emmy for best actor in Covid-19 performance, proving it’s all theater.)
When a reporter asked the governor about evidence that COVID-19 can spread by means of aerosol transmission, he answered back: "The rule is six feet social distancing. Do you want to change the rule? If there's new data, then we should come up with a new law."
The elder Cuomo has implemented a number of public health measures to stem the tide of coronavirus infections in New York state. Among these measures included establishing task forces to ensure people wear masks and they maintain proper social distance. Small businesses such as restaurants and bars have also suffered under the governor’s new regulations after he ordered them to shut down amid the pandemic. However, based on Greer's report – the elder Cuomo's rules do not apply to him and his family members.
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