President Trump visited the Walter Reed Military Hospital on Saturday, where he was seen wearing a face mask in public for the first time amid growing cases of coronavirus in the U.S.
Trump flew in a helicopter to the military hospital to meet with wounded soldiers and medical personnel, and told reporters at the White House before his departure that he “would probably wear a mask.”
“When you’re in a hospital, especially … I think I’m expected to wear a mask,” the president said after months of refusing to wear one in public.
As the coronavirus pandemic has increased in the U.S., with more than 3.2 million confirmed cases and more than 134,000 deaths, several members of the Republican Party have urged people to wear masks, adding that it should be an issue. health, not political.
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“Unfortunately, this simple practice of saving lives has become part of a political debate that says: If you are for Trump, you do not wear a mask. If you are against Trump, you do it, ”Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said at a coronavirus hearing in late June.
“That is why I have suggested that the president occasionally wear a mask, although there are not many occasions when it is necessary for him to do so. The President has millions of fans. They would follow suit.
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“Everyone should wear a damn mask,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, told reporters last month.
Trump has sent conflicting messages about wearing masks, saying it would be appropriate to wear them indoors and close to others. But he has also called journalists for wearing masks during press meetings, saying they were only doing it to be “politically correct.”
According to reports, the only other time Trump wore a mask was during a private tour of a Ford plant in Michigan.
Associated Press contributed to this report.