Donald Trump Ditches Mask Hours After Saying Wearing One Is ‘Patriotic’
Just hours after Donald Trump said wearing a face mask is ‘patriotic’, he’s done yet another U-turn and was seen out and about without a covering.
The US has been home to record-breaking spikes in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, and though health experts have been urging residents to wear masks for months, the president was only seen wearing one in public for the first time a couple of weeks ago.
A lack of preventative measures in many states across the US suggests the number of cases isn’t going to drop any time soon, and Trump finally seemed to get the message as he shared a tweet yesterday, July 20, encouraging the use of masks.
He implied wearing masks is a symbol of support for the country, writing:
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!
Trump’s claim was immediately problematic (not to mention the term he used to describe the virus) as he wasn’t seen wearing a mask for months during the pandemic, therefore suggesting his patriotism only began when he put one on a couple of weeks ago, but he was evidently happy to overlook this fact when he posted the tweet.
The issues with his support only became more apparent hours later, when the president was seen at his hotel in Washington D.C. with his bare face on full display.
You can watch the video here:
All thoughts of patriotism apparently went out the window as Trump mingled with the likes of Congressional hopeful Madison Cawthorn, Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows and Senator Lindsey Graham.
While some members of the group were wearing face coverings, an alarming number were not, and Trump’s apparent backtrack on his previous support for masks happened so quickly that it’s almost hard to believe. Almost, but not quite, because Trump isn’t exactly known for his trustworthiness.
Before being spotted in a mask for the first time, the president had claimed he’d been wearing a covering in private. However, when the Centers for Disease Control first started recommending face masks he told reporters he would not follow the advice.
He said at the time: ‘I don’t think I’m going to be doing it. Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I just don’t see it,’ BBC News reported.
Unfortunately, many people across the US followed in Trump’s footsteps and refused to wear a mask, with some claiming it affected their health and others arguing that it was an impingement on their freedom, despite the fact the simple face coverings can literally save lives.
Latest figures from Johns Hopkins University reveal the US has had 3,830,926 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 140,909 people have died as a result of the virus.
In June, a model cited by Forbes predicted that if 95% of the US population were to wear masks, 33,000 lives could be saved by October 1.
Though there are quite literally tens of thousands of lives at stake, Trump still has no plans to issue a nationwide mask mandate, and his apparent refusal to set a good example will only continue to make things worse.
The POTUS should have been encouraging the use of masks from the beginning, and there’s no denying that his public support for masks came much, much too late.
While the video taken at the hotel suggests he’s not taking his own advice, we can now only hope that branding masks as ‘patriotic’ will encourage more people to wear face coverings, as doing so will help prevent both illness and death.
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Johns Hopkins University