Donald Trump has put on a face mask to visit convalescent military personnel at Walter Reed Military Hospital, in a rare nod to the coronavirus pandemic.
Health experts agree that face masks are helpful in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
The president repeatedly repeated the suggestions to wear a mask, saying that it made people touch too much and therefore it was not useful.
Trump told Fox News on Thursday that he would wear a face mask during the trip.
Donald Trump on Saturday wore a face mask to visit the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland
“I’m going to Walter Reed to see some of our great soldiers who have been injured,” he told Sean Hannity.
‘Severly injured. And also see some of our Covid employees, people who do such a good job.
“And I expect to wear a mask when I enter Walter Reed’s house.” You’re in the hospital, so I think it’s a very appropriate thing.
Walter Reed’s website includes advice that says visitors “must wear a cloth face covering their nose and mouth when entering and moving around the establishment… when they are unable to maintain 6 feet of social distance. “
Trump flew out of the White House on Saturday afternoon, landing at the medical center at 5:24 p.m. and leaving Marine One a few minutes later.
Marine One left the South Lawn of the White House at 5:14 p.m. en route to Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland
The president was seen arriving at the medical center at 5:24 p.m. President Trump was not wearing a mask when he arrived
He spent approximately 40 minutes with patients and staff in an in camera session.
Judd Deere, a White House spokesperson, issued a statement saying, “President Trump is at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit the brave injured combatants and their families as well as the medical personnel who care for COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. ‘
The President ended his visit inside the hospital at around 6:10 p.m. and Marine Force One took him back to the White House at 6:25 p.m.
Trump’s decision to model a mask in public view and brag about it in an interview with Fox News on Thursday evening came after a quiet lobbying campaign by aides and White House political advisers said at CNN helpers familiar with the discussions.
Some of his collaborators are said to have been concerned about the sight of so many masked Trump supporters at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month and worried about the outbreak of coronavirus in the south.
All those present with the president were photographed wearing face masks
Photographed before leaving the White House on Saturday, the president was not wearing a mask
A presidential adviser described the effort as more than a week of “a lot of negotiations” and repeated “pleas” by aides who urged the president to set an example for his supporters by wearing a mask during the visit .
Until this week, Trump had resisted this tinder, in part because it is tested daily and sees it as an unnecessary step and also because he did not want to give in to criticism and pressure from the media.
“I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” said Trump during a May visit to a Ford factory in Michigan, where he refused to wear a mask in front of the press in disregard of Ford rules. .
He put on the mask when he thought people weren’t looking.
Trump was photographed, far from the press, wearing a mask on May 21 in Michigan
He showed the mask to be pressed during the trip to Michigan, but did not want photos wearing it
Trump’s visit to Walter Reed on Saturday will take place a few hours before he rallies his supporters in New Hampshire – a rally scheduled for Friday evening, but postponed due to bad weather.
Councilors hope his decision to wear a mask will encourage rally participants to do the same.
The Trump campaign “strongly encourages” participants to wear masks – a notable difference from Trump’s political events in recent weeks, where the wearing of the mask was rare and little has been done to encourage it.
He refused requests to make masks mandatory during his events.
“It’s good to wear a mask if it makes you comfortable,” he said.
A Trump political adviser told CNN that the president was not in favor of forcing people to wear them.
“He’s the president.” He doesn’t want to say it, ”said the counselor.