Melania Trump, Karen Pence and others photographed without masks at White House event

Melania Trump, Karen Pence and others photographed without masks at White House event

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Melania Trump has been photographed not wearing a face mask at an event at the White House, where she reportedly hugged and shook hands with multiple children.

The first lady of the United States was at an event on Monday that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which allowed white American women the right to vote.

While not wearing a mask, Ms Trump shook hands and hugged multiple children who attended the event, according to CNN reporter Kate Bennett.

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The event was also attended by the US second lady Karen Pence, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, transportation secretary Elaine Chao and education secretary Betsy DeVos, who were all pictured without face masks.

Ms Conway announced on Sunday that she will be leaving the White House at the end of the month to spend more time with her family, and told a reporter at the event: “How am I doing? I’m good. I make my own choices.”

Many of the parents and children wore face masks throughout the event, while others including White House officials held them in their hands.

Monday’s event took place outside, and a spokesperson for the White House told Business Insider that all attendees were tested for coronavirus when they arrived using rapid test kits.

Although the first lady urged the US public to wear face masks in a video she posted on Twitter in April, she has rarely been seen wearing one in public, according to Business Insider.

Last month, in an interview with Fox & Friends, President Donald Trump said that children “are almost immune from” coronavirus, as he argued for schools to reopen.

A study from The American Academy of Pediatrics earlier in the year found that children are less susceptible to the symptoms of the disease, but studies have been inconclusive on whether they can pass it on to other adults.

Speaking at the event on Monday, Ms Trump praised the president and his administration for its policies to “empower and support women”, according to USA Today.

“Since taking office, my husband and this administration have taken historic measures to empower and support women in the United States — and around the world,” she said.

“We, as women, must continue using our greatest tool of empowerment — our voice,” Ms Trump added, before she encouraged everyone to vote in November “so that we may continue to build the brightest future for all of our children”.

According to Johns Hopkins University some 5.7m people have now tested positive for coronavirus in the US and the death toll has reached 176,991.

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