MIAMI – Donald Trump should wear a face mask when he comes to Miami for a presidential debate this fall, if the current county rules are still in effect, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.
Gimenez, a Republican, was asked about that Thursday as he discussed an expanded countywide order that now requires face coverings to be worn even outdoors when social distancing is possible.
“I believe the president like every other leader should follow what the rules are of the locality,” Gimenez said, speaking to reporters in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami. “And so depending on the locality, if he comes to Miami-Dade I would expect that he would be wearing a mask, because that’s our rules down here. So, as the leader of Miami-Dade I’ll be wearing a mask. You’ll see me wearing the mask all the time. You have always seen me wear the mask when it’s appropriate. That’s what we should be doing … every citizen should be playing their part.”
Trump is scheduled to debate Democratic candidate Joe Biden on Oct. 15 from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.
Trump has declined to wear a mask at public appearances and has mocked Biden for wearing one.
Biden has criticized Trump’s handling of the virus and said that he would make wearing face masks mandatory for Americans.
Gimenez on Thursday stressed that wearing face coverings is a key to ensuring that Miami-Dade County doesn’t need to shut down businesses again as the county reports record numbers of new coronavirus cases and surpasses 1,000 deaths from COVID-19.
“Wearing a mask is actually a symbol of respect,” Gimenez said. “The respect that I have for you, and you have for me.”
Earlier this year, Gimenez tweeted that he looked forward to “standing with [Trump] against the radical left” as the term-limited mayor announced a run for Congress.
Trump followed by tweeting an endorsement of Gimenez.
“Carlos will win big, very exciting,” read the message posted on Trump’s Twitter account on Jan. 23. “Great for Florida, great for USA! He has my complete and total Endorsement!”
Carlos will win big, very exciting. Great for Florida, great for USA! He has my complete and total Endorsement! https://t.co/6Rd5laSEkV— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2020
Palm Beach County, where Trump is a resident, has also enacted a strict mask order as coronavirus cases rise across South Florida.