Daily US Times: US President Donald Trump has changed his tone about face masks, saying he is “all for masks” and they make him look like the Lone Ranger. Mr Trump has long opposed to wearing a face-covering in public.
He also maintained that face coverings do not need to become mandatory to curb Covid-19’s spread.
Mr Trump again predicted the infection would “disappear,” despite his country hit a new record high of 52,000 virus cases in a day.
His comments to Fox News come a day after a top Republican called on Mr Trump to wear a mask as an example.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the US now recorded 128,000 deaths with nearly 2.7 million Covi-19 infections.
What did the president say?
Mr Trump said: “I’m all for masks,” while speaking to Fox Business on Wednesday.
When asked whether he would wear one, the president said: “If I were in a tight situation with people I would, absolutely.” He pointed out that people have seen him wearing one before.
The US President said he would have “no problem” with wearing a mask publicly and that he “sort of liked” how he looked with one on, likening himself to the Lone Ranger, a fictional masked hero who with his Native American friend, Tonto, fought outlaws in the American Old West.
Mr Trump reiterated that he did not think making face-coverings mandatory across the US was needed, because according to him, there are “many places in the country where people stay very long distance”.
“If people feel good about it they should do it,” he said.
He was asked if he still believes coronavirus will ”disappear” someday.
He replied: ””I do. I do. Yeah sure. At some point.”
During Mr Trump’s Independence Day celebration on 3 July at Mount Rushmore, his supporters in attendance will not be forced to social distancing or to wear masks.
What has Trump previously said about masks?
From the beginning of coronavirus outbreak in the US, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended people wear masks or cloth coverings in public to help stop the spread of the virus, but Mr Trump told reporters he would not follow the practice.
He said back then: “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.”
But Mr Trump has repeatedly emphasized that choosing to follow the official health guidance around masks is a personal decision.
He told the Wall Street Journal last month that some people only wore masks as a political statement against him.
During a visit to a factory in Michigan in May, he told reporters he took off a facial covering before facing the cameras because he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it”.
The White House has defended Mr Trump’s choice by saying everyone in contact with him is tested frequently for coronavirus, and so is the president himself.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, has also been spotted wearing a mask in public.