• White House defended Melania Trump from the backlash for not wearing a mask during her Children’s National Hospital visit
  • The First Lady was 12 feet away from other people in the four-story atrium, according to the White House
  • The District of Columbia health guidance doesn't require a person to wear a mask when giving a speech for broadcast

Melania Trump is in hot water again after a photo of her without a mask while reading a book during her visit to a children's hospital went viral. But the White House stressed that the first lady didn't break any hospital rules as opposed to what many claimed.

The FLOTUS faced another round of criticisms after her photo taken during her visit to the Children’s National Hospital circulated online. The White House has released a statement explaining what really happened during the visit and why Melania should not be slammed for it.

"Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event was limited in numbers of in-person participants and all guests were required to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing," the White House wrote in a readout from the FLOTUS' hospital visit.

"The visit followed the hospital’s mask protocols for public speakers, based on the District of Columbia health guidance, that wearing a mask is not required when a person is giving a speech for broadcast or an audience, provided no one is within six feet of the speaker. Throughout the holiday program, the First Lady was more than twelve feet away from others in the four-story atrium."

Also, the reading was only shown to the hospital's 325 inpatient rooms so that children and their families could watch it safely from their rooms. Aside from the hospital visit, Melania dropped by at the Seacrest Studios where she led a holiday-themed round of bingo with kids.

Bingo is the most popular activity at Children's National and it was a great way to cheer the children. She kicked off the game by reading the cards until patients announced, "Bingo."

Melania interacted with the patients via phone and it was live-streamed to the patient rooms, allowing children throughout the hospital to play along safely, the White House added.

Prior to the White House's statement, several slammed Melania on Twitter and accused the FLOTUS of lack of empathy.

"Where's the mask. There is sick children there. She better hope no one gets sick. Melania like Trump are super spreader. The Whitehouse has virus cases," one wrote.

"@FLOTUS but you still saw fit to take your mask off at a children’s hospital visit knowing this? White House security official reportedly loses leg in fight against COVID-19," another added.

"Melania is a selfish, thoughtless, clueless bitch. She is as bad as her husband in her narcissism. The hospital should have made her put the mask back on. Melania would do the nation a favour if she left the White House now," another tweeted.

Melania Trump
First Lady Melania Trump is pictured during a meeting with Polish President's wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (Unseen) at the Belvedere Palace in Warsaw on July 6, 2017. - US President Donald Trump is on his first visit behind the former Iron Curtain. He is expected to focus largely on defence in talks with Baltic, Balkan and central European leaders. ANDRZEJ HULIMKA/AFP via Getty Images