Administration

Trump says he’s ‘all for masks’ despite reluctance to wear one

President Trump on Wednesday endorsed mask-wearing in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, saying he is “all for masks” despite resisting wearing one in public himself.

“I’m all for masks. I think masks are good,” Trump told Fox Business in an interview, adding that he would wear a face covering if he were in a “tight situation” with other people.

Trump noted that he hasn’t had to wear a mask because people who come in contact with him are tested for the coronavirus. Asked whether he would wear a mask publicly, Trump said he would have “no problem” with doing so. 

“I mean, I’d have no problem. Actually, I had a mask on, I sort of liked the way I looked,” Trump said, adding that he thought he looked like the “Lone Ranger.”  

Trump stopped short of calling for a mandatory mask policy, however, saying that in some areas of the country people stay a “very long distance” away from one another.

Trump’s remarks come after Republicans and his allies have publicly endorsed mask-wearing, with some urging him to wear a mask publicly in order to set an example for the American public.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals wear masks in public in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has infected more than 2.6 million Americans and caused over 127,000 domestic deaths.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered a strong endorsement of masks earlier this week on the Senate floor, saying there must be no “stigma” attached to wearing one. 

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) used prepared remarks at the opening of a coronavirus hearing Tuesday to urge Trump to wear a mask to end the “political debate” surrounding the practice of wearing one. 

Trump has indicated previously that he believed wearing a mask would lead to poor optics with foreign leaders. He told reporters during a trip to a Ford plant in Michigan in May that he wore a face covering in the “back area” of the factory but that he didn’t want to give the press the “pleasure of seeing it.” A photograph later emerged of the president with a face mask on in the plant.

The White House has repeatedly defended Trump’s decision not to wear a mask, saying that because he is tested regularly for coronavirus that it is unnecessary for him to do so and describing it as the personal choice of an individual. 

“The president has said he has no problem with masks, that he encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety and to follow what their local jurisdictions say,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Tuesday.

“CDC guidelines are still recommended but not required, and the president is the most tested man in America. It’s his decision whether to wear a mask,” she added. 

Some Trump administration officials have worn masks publicly, including Vice President Pence and the president’s senior adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump face masks Ivanka Trump Lamar Alexander Masking Masks Mike Pence Mitch McConnell
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