On July 20, President Donald Trump tweeted that it was patriotic to wear a face mask, while sharing a photo wearing one. His tweet talked about how it’s good to wear a mask when you can’t social distance during the coronavirus pandemic. (In his tweet, he referred to the virus as the “China Virus.”)
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!
Here’s the tweet:
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020
Trump has had a lot to say about masks over the last few months. In May, he appeared to make fun of Joe Biden for wearing a mask when he retweeted a tweet from Fox News analyst Brit Hume, who made fun of how Biden looked in a mask, CBS News reported. But Trump later said he never made fun of Biden for wearing a mask, the New York Times reported.
Here’s the tweet he had retweeted:
This might help explain why Trump doesn’t like to wear a mask in public. Biden today. pic.twitter.com/9l1gw1ljBE
— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 25, 2020
Trump insisted that he wouldn’t criticize Biden for wearing a mask, The Hill reported. After Memorial Day, Trump said: “Biden can wear a mask, but he was standing outside with his wife, perfect conditions, perfect weather. They’re inside they don’t wear masks. And so I thought it was very unusual that he had it on. But I thought that was fine. I wasn’t criticizing him at all. Why would I do a thing like that?”
In May, Trump wore a mask while visiting a Ford plant for a private tour.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 22, 2020
On July 11, he wore a mask in public for the first time while visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, AP reported.
Prior to that, he typically hadn’t worn masks at news conferences or rallies. AP reported in mid-July that he had said they would be appropriate worn indoors or when people were close together, but had also told reporters wearing them that they were being politically correct. Unnamed sources told AP that Trump was concerned he might look weak wearing a mask and that doing so might shift discussions away from economic recovery.
Masks were optional at his most recent Tulsa rally. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx had advised Trump against holding the rally, The Hill reported. Trump’s campaign said attendees would have their temperature checked and would be given masks and hand sanitizer. But wearing masks was a personal choice. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she wouldn’t wear a mask to that rally, but added that she was regularly tested for COVID-19, Tampa Bay reported.
Trump recently said that he would not order a national mask mandate, BBC reported. He said people should have some degree of freedom, after Dr. Anthony Fauci said that everyone should be wearing a mask because they are “really important.”
The CDC has released a statement urging Americans to wear masks. In a press release, CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield wrote: “We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
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