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GOP committee chair: 'It would help' if Trump would wear a mask occasionally

Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderSenate GOP faces retirement brain drain The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - CDC news on gatherings a step toward normality Blunt's retirement deals blow to McConnell inner circle MORE (R-Tenn.) said Sunday that “it would help” if President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE would wear a mask occasionally during the coronavirus pandemic.

"If wearing masks is important and all the health experts tell us that it is in containing the disease in 2020, it would help if from time to time the president would wear one to help us get rid of this political debate that says if you're for Trump, you don't wear a mask, if you're against Trump, you do," Alexander, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, told CNN’s “Inside Politics.”

When asked if the American public should look to Trump for public health advice, the Tennessee Republican said people should listen to health experts 

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"My suggestion to the pesident all along and for the other political leaders is let the experts do the talking about medicine. People trust them," Alexander said.

Trump has been hesitant to be seen wearing a mask in public, telling The Wall Street Journal that masks are “a double-edged sword” and suggesting they were being worn as a political statement by those against him. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people “should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public.”

Republicans seem split on the issue, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcCarthy and Biden haven't spoken since election Democrats roll out legislation to expand Supreme Court Wall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study MORE (R-Ky.) saying people should keep wearing masks until there is a vaccine. Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyTrump backs Wyoming GOP chair, citing Cheney censure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Trump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances MORE (R-Wyo.) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference Senators reintroduce bill to block NATO withdrawal New US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations MORE (R-Fla.) both have advocated for wearing masks in the past week.

But some Republican governors, like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida on track to pass 'anti-riot' law requiring state approval for decreases to city police budgets Florida education official tells school districts to make masks optional next year The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - US vaccine effort takes hit with Johnson & Johnson pause MORE, have not issued requirements for masks to be worn in public, despite rising cases and other states taking that action.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Republican proposes constitutional amendment to prevent Supreme Court expansion Business groups oppose Paycheck Fairness Act, citing concerns it could threaten bonuses and negotiating New US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations MORE (D-Calif.) told ABC’s “This Week” that a nationwide mandate for face masks is “definitely long overdue.”

Experts have said a face covering or face mask could cut the transmission of coronavirus by as much as 50 percent,  CNN noted.