White House staffers appeared publicly wearing masks, many for the first time, on Friday as they waited for President Donald Trump to board Marine One for airlift to Walter Reed Medical Center.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was among the aides wearing face coverings in a dramatic shift for the administration, just days after Trump demeaned Joe Biden for wearing a mask ‘every time you see him.’
Even hours earlier, as the bombshell news of Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis reverberated around the world, his senior staff walked maskless around the White House.
Trump himself had long eschewed wearing a mask, doing so in public view only a handful of times, but on Friday he walked out to Marine One with a cloth face covering. It appeared to mark a strict new standard both for his administration and campaign.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien sent an email to staff on Friday urging staff to wear masks and saying the campaign office would remain open.
White House staffers including Kayleigh McEnany (center in blue) appeared publicly wearing masks, many for the first time, on Friday as they waited for President Donald Trump to board Marine One for airlift to Walter Reed Medical Center
‘Any campaign staff member who has had exposure to someone testing positive should immediately begin self-quarantine,’ Stepien wrote, according to CNN, which obtained a copy.
‘While we do not believe anyone else without symptoms needs to self-quarantine at this time, it is on all of us to continue to exercise the smart judgement and practices the campaign has long encouraged: wear a mask, wash you hands, socially distance.’
Meanwhile, a top body language expert says that White House staffers appeared ‘fearful’ and shocked’ as they gathered outside the White House to wait for Trump’s departure.
Patti Wood, body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, analyzed two photographs for DailyMail.com on Friday.
She said the staffers standing outside the White House waiting for Trump to leave appear to be a united group of people who are genuinely shocked about the president’s diagnosis and fearful about what is doing to happen.
‘They are gathering close together, they are not fearing for themselves even in this situation, there is unity in this group,’ she said. ‘I feel that they care, are worried and both sad and fearful.’
Wood said the most telling body language in the photos is the way their feet are positioned, describing it as a freeze stress response – which is triggered when fight or flight is not an option
‘The most honest part of the body is the feet. All of that is very telling,’ she explained. ‘Normally their feet would be further apart and pointing where Trump would be coming from. We are not seeing that’
Wood said the most telling body language in the photos is the way their feet are positioned, describing it as a freeze stress response – which is triggered when fight or flight is not an option when people are faced with actual or perceived dangerous and threatening situations.
American women typically stand with their feet 4 to 6 inches apart, while men in a position of power will stand with their feet 9 to 10 inches apart. In this photo, both men and women are standing with their feet closer together, indicating this freeze stress response.
‘The most honest part of the body is the feet. All of that is very telling,’ she explained. ‘Normally their feet would be further apart and pointing where Trump would be coming from. We are not seeing that.’
Wood said the stance of the woman standing third from right in a black dress tells her a lot. ‘She has her hands behind her back and her body is highly asymmetrical which indicates something is not right,’ the body language expert said.
Wood says although the temperature may have something to do with the way the other women are standing in the photo and how sharp and angular their posture is rather than rounded as it would be if they were cold, it could also indicate the way they are feeling.
Wood said the stance of the woman standing third from right in a black dress tells her a lot. ‘She has her hands behind her back and her body is highly asymmetrical which indicates something is not right’
The woman in the skirt and black top has her arms tense, tight and close to her body and her feet together, and the woman wearing polka dots has both her legs and arms crossed and her shoulders hunched. The latter also has ‘shock and fear in her eyes’.
She said White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany seems extremely tense and believes she has her arms crossed inside with thumbs up because of this tension rather than the cold. The temperature in Washington DC was around 64F at the time.
Despite wearing a coat, the woman in blue is hunched, is holding her own hand and is folded over in an ‘exaggerated position’. Wood describes all of this as the ‘closing of major body windows’.
‘This is to block out something you fear or to keep in your emotional state – it can also be a combination,’ she said. Wood said of the two men on the right of the group photo, one has fear and the other has sadness in their eyes.
The president gave a ‘thumbs up’ as he walked from the White House to Marine One to be airlifted to hospital on Friday evening. He waved to reporters on the South Lawn but didn’t speak as he walked to Marine One. He walked on his own with no help.
The president gave a ‘thumbs up’ as he walked from the White House to Marine One to be airlifted to Walter Reed
Secret Service agents wearing protective face masks standby as Trump departs from the South Lawn of the White House on Marine One to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be treated for Covid-19
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, left, looks on, while Trump arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was with him, also wearing a mask. Several senior White House staffers, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, were on the lawn to watch the president’s departure. They were also wearing masks, an unusual image for the Trump White House.
An adviser to President Donald Trump revealed there is ‘reason for concern’ after the president had ‘trouble breathing’ as he was admitted to Walter Reed Military Medical Center on Friday evening following his positive coronavirus test.
‘This is serious,’ the source told CNN, stating that Trump was ‘very tired, very fatigued’.
The White House has stayed mute on the severity of Trump’s symptoms and continued to say that the president will be fine yet officials told CNN that his condition was much more severe than First Lady Melania Trump.
Trump walked slowly down the stairs of Marine One when he arrived on the hospital grounds after the 15-minute journey holding on to the handrail as he descended.
He got into a waiting motorcade for the short ride to the hospital, where he was admitted into the presidential suite.
The White House said he was being admitted for tests ‘out of an abundance of caution’ after he developed a fever, congestion and a cough.
He is expected to remain in hospital for ‘a few days’ where he will continue working, they added.
In a video message posted to Twitter, the President thanked the American people for their support following his diagnosis.
‘I want to thank everyone for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed hospital, I think I’m doing well, but we’re going to make sure things work out,’ he said in the 18-second clip.
‘The First Lady is doing very well. So, thank you very much, I appreciate it. I will never forget it.’