While President Donald Trump was being treated for the coronavirus in Walter Reed Hospital, his controversial campaign senior adviser Jason Miller accused Democratic nominee Joe Biden of using masks as a “prop” instead of acknowledging the president has been irresponsible in his response to the virus.
A moment of crisis over Trump’s recent Covid-19 diagnosis, has the GOP fighting to keep control of the Senate and his already reeling re-election campaign plunging into disarray heading into the final month of the race.
It is not known where the president and first lady Melania Trump contracted the virus, but they were in Ohio last week for rallies, as well as the first presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland.
Miller, a scandal plagued veteran of Trump’s 2016 campaign has a long history in conservative politics and he has advised many insurgent candidates who took on entrenched incumbents.
Miller was formerly a partner at the prominent New Jersey-based Republican consulting firm Jamestown Associates.
“I’d say that with regard to Joe Biden, I think too often he’s used the mask as a prop,” Miller said on ABC’s This Week. “A mask is very important, but even if he’s — he could be 20, 30 feet away from the nearest person and still have the mask on. That’s not going to change anything that’s out there.”
“With Joe Biden, I mean, we can’t all just stay in our basement for the rest of our lives,” Miller continued. “We have to get out there and live our lives and take this on, develop the vaccine, develop more therapeutics, and defeat it.”
Trump has repeatedly dismissed the severity of the pandemic as something that would disappear on its own, chiding Biden for wearing a protective mask, even as the coronavirus infected millions of people and forced businesses and schools to close.
Miller, who served as a top adviser on Trump’s 2016 bid, was hired in June to help to coordinate between the campaign and White House.
After the 2016 election, Miller was named White House communications director but weeks before Trump’s inauguration he backed out after reports emerged that he had an extramarital affair and impregnated another campaign aide, Arlene “A. J.” Delgado.
In the ensuing months they were engaged in a legal battle that came to focus on attorneys fees and child support. Miller later stepped down from his position as a commentator on CNN and has an ongoing lawsuit against an online media outlet over what he has called a defamatory report about his personal life.
A Republican group called The Lincoln Project called Miller, “a deadbeat dad who admittedly frequented prostitutes” after his comment made headlines.
Biden leads Donald Trump by 14 percentage points nationally with about a month to go until Election Day, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey taken after the first 2020 presidential debate on Tuesday but before Trump announced his Covid-19 diagnosis early Friday.
Biden opened his widest lead in a month after Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, and a majority of Americans think Trump could have avoided infection if he had taken the virus more seriously, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday.
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