President TrumpDonald John TrumpKanye West says Harriet Tubman ‘never actually freed the slaves’ at rally Trump-Afghan deal passes key deadline, but peace elusive GOP governors in hardest hit states split over COVID-19 response MORE on Monday tweeted for the first time a photograph of himself wearing a mask and described the practice as a patriotic act amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon, referring to the coronavirus, which the president regularly points out originated in Wuhan, China.
“There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!” he added.
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 for months resisted wearing a mask in public before donning one during a trip to Walter Reed less than two weeks ago. The picture tweeted by the president on Monday was taken during that trip and shows Trump wearing a mask decorated with a presidential seal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in April recommended Americans wear a face covering in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But the debate over wearing a mask and whether governments should mandate that Americans do so has been marred by partisanship.
That’s begun to change in recent weeks, however. While some Republicans have continued to refuse to wear masks, others have appeared in public wearing face coverings and urge others to do the same, including first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpGraham on the passing of Lewis: ‘He lived a consequential life’ First lady urges Americans to wear masks, social distance Melania Trump posts video of herself wearing mask during stop at women’s center MORE and Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence marks the death of John Lewis: ‘May his example ever inspire’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Cook shifts 20 House races toward Democrats Private White House document says counties in ‘red zone’ should close bars and gyms MORE. Other Republicans and conservative media personalities have also promoted the use of masks in recent weeks, and some explicitly urged Trump to wear one in order to set an example.
A number of governors – including a growing list of GOP state leaders – have mandated the use of masks in public places in order to address recent surges in coronavirus cases, though some like Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) have opposed mask orders and gone as far as prohibiting cities from imposing their own.
Trump told Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceTrump on whether he’ll accept election results in November: ‘I have to see’ Trump mocks push to rename Fort Bragg: ‘We’re going to name it after the Rev. Al Sharpton?’ Some Republicans dig in against mask mandate as bipartisan consensus in favor grows MORE that he would not issue a national mandate requiring Americans to wear face coverings.
“I want people to have a certain freedom and I don’t believe in that, no,” Trump said in an interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday.”