President Donald Trump called wearing a mask “patriotic” in a tweet Monday, posting a photo of himself wearing one, a basic precaution health experts have urged Americans to take as the U.S. has dealt with weeks of a coronavirus spike.
Trump tweeted a black-and-white photo of him wearing a mask, saying “There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!”
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
Health experts have pleaded with Americans to wear masks as a way of preventing the rapid spread of coronavirus the nation has had recently.
But that suggestion has been met with strong pushback among some conservatives, and health officials have had to grapple with the health precaution becoming an increasingly political issue.
Most Americans are now under a mandate requiring they wear masks in public, but some states, notably Florida, the nation’s coronavirus epicenter, still do not have a mandate.
Trump held a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month where there was hardly a mask in sight, but has since said he’s “all for masks,” even though he does not plan to issue a nationwide mask mandate.
Trump for a long time wanted to avoid being seen in public wearing a mask, but was finally seen wearing one on July 11, when he visited the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
“Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus—particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an editorial published last week.
The U.S. has reported its highest daily counts for new cases over the past week, topping 60,000 new cases each of the past six days. Hospitalizations have reached their highest levels since April, and daily death tolls over the past week have risen to around 1,000 per day.
140,811 — That’s how many Americans have died of coronavirus so far, according to Johns Hopkins University.
A model in late June predicted that if 95% of the U.S. population were to wear masks, that would save 33,000 lives by Oct. 1.
The U.S. has done a poor job of containing the coronavirus compared to other countries, some of which have enacted travel bans keeping Americans out over fears of a coronavirus resurgence. The European Union currently has a travel ban in place for Americans, and the Bahamas announced Sunday that American tourists would be banned from the country.