’Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace pointedly corrected Secretary Alex Azar — three times — on Joe Biden’s correct title. It’s “president-elect, sir,” Wallace told the health and human services secretary when Azar referred to Biden as a “vice president.”

Azar’s title demotion came as the two discussed cases of COVID-19 skyrocketing to record highs amid inaction by President Donald Trump and his administration in addressing the pandemic that has claimed 282,000 American lives. Wallace referred to the surging problem as a “massive failure” by Trump.

Wallace asked Azar if the nation would be in “much better shape” had Trump begun wearing a mask in April as has Biden, who also plans to urge Americans to do so for 100 days after he takes office.

Azar responded, “Well, Chris, I welcome Vice President Biden to the club. Since the middle of April the president’s guidelines for reopening have called [for wearing] masks.”

That’s when Wallace interrupted: “He’s the president-elect, sir. He’s the president-elect.”

Azar ignored the correction and said that Trump (once) called wearing masks “patriotic acts” — though he is almost never seen wearing one himself. Trump has also organised several campaign rallies where masses of people packed together and few wore masks. He has never been heard encouraging them to do so and once ordered a reporter to remove his mask.

“Please, wear a mask when you can’t engage in social distancing,” Azar urged on Fox.

Wallace again reminded Azar, “First of all, it’s the president-elect, Joe Biden, Secretary Azar.”

He added, “Secondly, … on April 3rd the president said he wasn’t going to wear a mask. He didn’t wear a mask in public for three months until July. And just last night at that rally in Georgia, not only didn’t he wear a mask … but [of] thousands of people packed together, none I could see wearing a mask. That is a direct violation of what the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and you are recommending.”

Azar responded, “Chris, our advice has always been the same. Wash your hands. Watch your distance. Wear face coverings when you can’t watch your distance.”

He didn’t bother correcting Biden’s title.

CNN’s Jake Tapper earlier asked Trump’s vaccine czar, Moncef Slaoui, what he thought about President-elect Biden’s 100-day mask plan. Slaoui called it a “good idea.”

Check out Chris Wallace’s upbraiding of Azar in the video above.