Trump’s U-turn on masks: President is ‘all for masks’ as they make him ‘look like the Lone Ranger’
US President Donald Trump has publicly said he is “all for masks,” a drastic changing of his stance. The president had long opposed to wearing a face-covering in public.
He made clear that face coverings do not need to become mandatory to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Once again he predicted Covid-19 would “disappear” despite the US hitting a record new high of 52,000 cases in a day.
Trump changes stance on facemasks
Speaking to Fox Business Network, Trump said: “I’m all for masks.”
“If I were in a tight situation with people I would, absolutely,” he said when asked if he would wear one. He added people have seen him wear one before.
Trump said he would have “no problem” with wearing a mask publicly and that he “sort of liked” how he looked with one on, likening himself to the fictional character, the Lone Ranger.
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) July 2, 2020
He went on to say that making face -coverings mandatory across the US was not needed because there are “many places in the country where people stay very long distance.”
“If people feel good about it they should do it.”
When asked if he still believes the coronavirus will “disappear” someday, he said “I do. Yeah sure. At some point.”
The president’s forthcoming Independence Day celebration on 3 July at Mount Rushmore will not force those in attendance to social distance or wear face coverings.
What the president has said about facemasks in the past
When the CDC began recommending people wear face coverings in public back in April, the president told reporters he would not follow the practice.
“I don’t think I’m going to be doing it,” he said back then. “Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I just don’t see it.”
The CDC strongly recommends facemasks for in anyone in contact with others.
Donald Trump: "I won't be wearing one of those."
*And so ends today's seminar on leadership during a crisis*
— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) April 4, 2020
But Trump has repeatedly emphasised choosing to follow official health guidance around masks in a personal decision.
Last month, he told the Wall Street Journal that some people only wear masks as a political statement against him.
In May, he told reporters he took off a face covering before facing the cameras because he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
The White House has defended Trump’s choice by saying everyone in contact with him is frequently tested as it Trump himself.
The US now has nearly 2.7 million confirmed infection cases and more than 128,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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