House

Pelosi: Trump wearing a mask is 'an admission' that it can stop spread of coronavirus

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that President Trump's decision to wear a mask while he visited the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center amounted to an "admission" that facial coverings can curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"Now he's crossed a bridge. That's an admission that, if you're going to see our soldiers, you have to wear a mask. If you're going to be with our children, you have to wear a mask," Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union." "If we want to stop the spread of the coronavirus, ... you have to wear a mask.

"Hopefully, by his example, he will change his attitude, which will be helpful in stopping the spread of the coronavirus," she added. 

Trump on Saturday wore a face mask for the first time in the view of cameras while meeting with injured soldiers and health care staff who have been caring for COVID-19 patients at the Maryland hospital. The president was seen walking down one of the facility's hallways wearing a navy blue face covering with a gold presidential seal on the side of it. 

The image marked a significant development, considering Trump's resistance to wearing masks in public. Trump was spotted wearing one during a tour of a Michigan Ford factory in May, but he opted against wearing it while in view of the media. He said at the time that he didn't want to give "the press the pleasure of seeing it." He's also continually held that he doesn't need to wear a mask because he and his staff are frequently tested for COVID-19.

Ahead of his visit to Walter Reed, Trump said that he would "probably" wear a mask, noting that "especially in that particular setting where you're talking to a lot of soldiers and people that in some cases just got off the operating tables, I think it's a great thing to wear a mask." Though he also on Thursday mocked presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for wearing a mask at recent in-person events. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance in April encouraging Americans to wear masks when social distancing was not possible. At least 22 states and Washington, D.C., have also implemented mask mandates amid a rise in infections. But the orders have been the source of tensions in various regions, leading to calls from Democrats and some Republicans for the president to help set an example by wearing the facial covering. 

Pelosi last month urged the president to wear one by saying that "real men wear masks."

"Be an example to the country and wear the mask. It's not about protecting yourself. It's about protecting others and their families," she said, adding that a nationwide mask mandate was "long overdue."

As of Sunday morning, the U.S. had reported more than 3.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 134,000 deaths caused by it. The country recorded more than 68,000 cases of the virus on Friday alone, marking a new high for a 24-hour period. 

 

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