President Donald Trump is resuming his coronavirus-focused briefings and suddenly alerted Americans that they need to do everything they can to combat the coronavirus pandemic — including wearing a face mask. Previously, Trump had called masks “unsanitary” and considered them an anti-Trump political statement, the New York Times reports.
“Get a mask,” Trump stated in his latest news briefing. “Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They will have an effect and we need everything we can get.”
Yesterday, he tweeted a photo of himself wearing a mask and called the action “Patriotic.” He wrote, “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!”
It’s a departure from his previous refusal to wear a mask in public and endorse their effectiveness in stopping the spread of coronavirus. Face masks, hailed as one of the most effective methods, are often discredited with myths and protests. A common misconception, for example, is that face masks cause the wearer’s oxygen levels to drop. The truth? It doesn’t.
Now, he’s asking everyone to wear a mask when they can’t maintain social distancing.
“I’m getting used to the mask, and the reason is, think about patriotism. Maybe it helps,” Trump said.
In another twist from previous statements, he also cautioned that the pandemic will likely get worse before it gets better. His new statement follows spikes in coronavirus cases across the country as states halt or roll back their reopening plans.
“It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better,” Trump said about the pandemic. “Something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is.”