The first lady cast her ballot in-person on Tuesday morning, and while she's been seen in public wearing a face covering amid the pandemic, Melania Trump did not wear a mask to vote in the 2020 election at her Palm Beach, Florida polling place.
Though no state-wide mandate exists in Florida, individual counties have enacted their own rules, including Palm Beach County, which requires facial coverings in public in most circumstances. According to a report from NPR, everyone else at the FLOTUS' polling place was masked.
While secretaries of state and election boards in most states with mask mandates have specifically said poll workers are not to turn voters away for refusing to wear a mask, the lack of state-wide standard has made this issue is legally murkier in Florida. There has already been ambiguity about whether election workers are within their rights to ask the person to leave.
As The Sun-Sentinel reported, four early voters in Fort Lauderdale highlighted the difficulty in interpreting, and enforcing, Broward County's mask mandate at the polls. (The man and three women were ultimately permitted to cast their ballots unmasked, but not before police called to the scene got in touch with a legal advisor.)
Melania Trump contracted COVID-19 in September along with President Donald Trump and their 14-year-old son, Barron. "I was very fortunate as my diagnosis came with minimal symptoms," she wrote in a White House statement published in October. She was not hospitalized and was able to recover at home and has since tested negative. And while her husband has repeatedly touted his "immunity" to COVID-19, reinfection, while rare, has been recorded and, like so much of this illness is not yet entirely understood.
According to the state of Florida's COVID-19 tracking website, Palm Beach County is one of the most affected counties in the state with 53,511 cases and just under 1,600 deaths. Yesterday the state recorded 4,595 new cases. The first family declared the crucial swing state their primary residence last year.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.