“There is no excuse,” Dave Plyler, the chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, told the Winston-Salem Journal. “He just needs to do it.”
“It’s been ordered by the governor,” he said. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in North Carolina, do as the governor says.”
In his third visit to the battleground state in as many weeks, Trump is scheduled to speak at the airport in Winston-Salem on Tuesday night. In order to register for tickets, people are required to release the Trump campaign from any liability related to COVID-19 exposure.
In past visits to other cities battling the spread of the virus, Trump, who is generally seen barefaced in public, has flouted local guidelines and ignored pleas from officials to wear a mask and lead by example.
In an executive order last week, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced that some coronavirus restrictions would be eased in the state, which he said has seen a stabilization of daily cases and decline in hospitalizations. That order also extended the mandate for face coverings in most public venues.
“He is a citizen of the United States, but he is also a guest in our county,” Plyler said of Trump’s upcoming visit. “Without a mask, he could get sick, and he could blame the governor.”
Trump was not seen wearing a mask when he stopped in Wilmington, North Carolina, last week, nor were many of his supporters, who stood in a packed crowd at the airport as he delivered remarks. Similarly, during remarks at the start of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte a week earlier, he went without. Organizers had claimed the statewide rule would be enforced at the event.