Mr Meadows did wear a mask on 5 October when he accompanied the president to the military hospital on the 15-minute flight to the nearby medical facility. He also stayed the entire weekend with the president. He was photographed outside as the medical team briefed reporters wearing a mask.
The president made the remark during a campaign rally in North Carolina, a battleground where he is in a dead heat with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden after winning the state in 2016.
But he appeared to take a shot at the Tar Heel State and its residents.
“Could you imagine, I had to go to North Carolina to find my chief of staff?” he said with a smirk.