Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. President Donald Trump has been quite vocal in his opinion against wearing facial masks.
However, on Saturday July 11th, whilst visiting wounded soldiers and health care workers in the Walter Reed military hospital, Trump was seen wearing a face mask for the first time.
U.S. President Donald Trump contradicts previous statements against wearing facial masks as a preventative for COVID-19 as he is seen wearing one for the first time.
“I’ve never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place,” he said as he left the White House.
“I think when you’re in a hospital, 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.”
As of today, the U.S. has recorded 62,653 coronavirus cases.
In an interview with Fox Business Network last week Mr Trump said, “I’m all for masks,” comparing the look to that of fictional masked hero, the Lone Ranger.
Previously when the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began recommending people wear facial masks in public to help stop the spread of the virus in April, Mr Trump announced to reporters that he would not follow the practice.
He has continued to repeatedly emphasis that even though wearing masks or cloth coverings over the face is an official health guideline, it is a personal decision. “I don’t think I’m going to be doing it,” he said in April. “Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I just don’t see it.”
Mr Trump was also found to be mocking Democratic rival Joe Biden for adhering to the guidelines of wearing facial masks.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mr Trump stated that some people have chosen to wear masks as a political statement against him. Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander backed this by saying, “It is unfortunate that this simple, lifesaving practice has become part of a political debate that says ‘if you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask, if you’re against Trump, you do”.
As the numbers for confirmed coronavirus cases continue to climb in the U.S., Trump maintains that face coverings do not need to be mandatory to curb the spread of COVID-19.