Trump Wears Face Mask In Public For First Time As Coronavirus Cases Surge Across US
After months of dismissing the seriousness of COVID-19, Donald Trump has worn a face mask in public for the first time.
The US president has come under fire for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, which saw him suggest disinfectant injections to stem the spread and argue that if there were fewer tests, there would be fewer positive cases.
Despite the fact coronavirus has been ravaging his country for months, Trump had not previously been seen wearing a mask in public, even when in close proximity to others, despite his advisers ‘pleading’ with him to do so.
That finally changed yesterday, July 11, when the POTUS paid a visit to wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Pictures show the president wearing a black face covering while walking with staff, who were also wearing masks. He didn’t make any comments about the decision at the time, but the visit marked the first time since the pandemic began that press captured him in a mask.
Ahead of his visit, Trump admitted that he would ‘probably’ wear a mask, CNN reports. He even claimed that wearing a mask is ‘great’, despite not doing so for months.
I’ll probably have a mask if you must know. I’ll probably have a mask. I think when you’re in a hospital especially in that particular setting, where you are talking to a lot of soldiers, people that in some cases just got off the operating table…
I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask. I’ve never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place.
The president’s decision to wear a mask comes as coronavirus cases continue to soar in the US, with the country reporting 62,715 new infections on Saturday alone, the Washington Post reports.
The single-day death toll for the same day was 724, compared to 289 a week ago. In total, more than 134,000 people in the country have died from the virus, and more than 3.2 million confirmed cases have been reported.
After successfully getting death toll numbers down with lockdowns, they have now increased again in the US, with nearly 4,500 deaths reported nationally in the last week; and experts have warned that the trend will likely worsen.
Texas, Arizona and South Carolina have all seen their death tolls increase by more than 100% in the past four weeks, while Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, California and Louisiana have seen at least a 20% jump in that time.
Joe Biden’s campaign responded to Trump’s decision to wear a mask on Saturday, with Biden’s spokesperson, Andrew Bates, saying the president ‘wasted’ four months discouraging people from wearing masks while Biden ‘has led by example from the start’.
In an ideal world, the President of the United States wearing a face mask in the middle of a global pandemic would be common sense, not news. It’s devastating that Trump has let it get to this point.
Some stubborn Americans have argued that wearing a mask is an infringement on their freedom, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging everyone to wear a face covering in public.
It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.