Trump campaign sells 2020 masks months after CDC recommended them

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The Trump campaign on Monday launched the sale of branded face coverings, months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first recommended masks as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The campaign store features a red mask that has the word “Trump” emblazoned on it, and a blue mask with “MAGA” printed on it, a reference to the president’s campaign slogan. Each costs $15.

The masks provide supporters “with new ways to show their support for President Trump’s re-election while taking safety precautions during the coronavirus outbreak,” the campaign said in a press release.

The Trump campaign’s decision to capitalize on masks follows presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s operation, which began selling branded face coverings at the end of May.

Some Republican organizations had already been selling branded masks. The Texas GOP, for example, began selling campaign-themed masks in early May.

The president had long resisted the use of masks in the early months of the pandemic. He mocked an image of Biden wearing a mask to a Memorial Day event, and scoffed at the idea of wearing one himself after the CDC first recommended them for Americans who could not socially distance.

Trump has in recent weeks shifted his public commentary on the use of masks, however, as case numbers and deaths in the United States continue to rise and as he attempts to reassert himself as the face of the government response to the pandemic.

Trump wore a mask on camera for the first time in mid-July during a visit to Walter Reed Medical Center. He has done so a few more times since. At his nearly daily coronavirus briefings, Trump typically urges Americans to “wear a mask when distancing is not possible.” 

The president held a pair of outdoor rallies on Monday at which some supporters wore face coverings, while others did not. The attendees were packed closely together.

Updated at 8:42 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden

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