Leaving the White House, Trump told reporters, “When you’re in the hospital, in particular … I think he should be wearing a mask. ”
The only other time Trump was spotted wearing a mask was behind the scenes during a visit to a Ford factory in May, from which a picture emerged.
At the time, he refused to wear a mask in public because he said he did not want to please the assembled press.
In recent weeks, several people working near the president have tested positive for the coronavirus. The son’s girlfriend Donald Jr, Kimberly Guilfoyle, tested positive for Covid-19 before Trump’s rally at Mount Rushmore on July 3, and the couple had to be quarantined.America is breaking records of new cases of coronavirus almost every day, and hospitals in new hotspots in southern and western states are under severe pressure. Many believe that companies in these regions reopened too soon, following repeated exhortations to do so by the President, without the virus being under control.
Trump was wearing a dark mask when he started his hospital visit on Saturday, walking with an entourage who also wore masks.
The most prominent Republicans at the national level, including Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, have belatedly approved the use of masks in recent days as the coronavirus gained ground.
But Pence and Trump had avoided them during the first months of the pandemic when the virus was raging in parts of California, the Seattle area and New York.
People close to Trump told the Associated Press that the president was concerned that a mask would make him weak and that he would focus on the public health crisis rather than the economic recovery.
Although he did not wear them himself, Trump sent mixed signals about the masks, acknowledging that they are appropriate if they are worn indoors when people are close.
Trump also accused journalists of wearing them for being “politically correct” and retweeted messages mocking the alleged Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden for wearing a mask.
The subject has become politically contentious, with Republican Senator Lamar Alexander recently lamenting that the masks should not be considered pro-democracy or anti-Trump.
Official guidelines from the United States federal government recommend wearing cloth blankets to slow the spread of the coronavirus, especially when social distancing is not possible.
The Associated Press contributed to the reporting on this story.