“I’m so glad he obeyed the rules of Walter Reed. You cannot go to our veterans who are there without wearing a mask. Now he’s crossed a bridge, “Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash on” State of The “. Union. “It is an admission that if you are going to see our soldiers, you must wear a mask.” If you are going to be with our children, you must wear a mask. If we want to stop the spread of the coronavirus, you have to wear a mask. ”
The Californian Democrat continued: “So hopefully, by his example, he will change his attitude, which will be useful in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. ”
The president’s decision to wear a mask during his trip to the medical center on Saturday comes after months of refusing to wear a mask publicly – against the recommendations of public health experts from his own administration.
Joe Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates responded to Trump’s decision to wear a mask, saying the president “lost” four months by discouraging people from wearing masks while Biden “donated the example from the start ”.
CNN previously reported that Trump’s agreement to wear a mask in public was the result of heavy-handed “pleas” by aides, who urged the president to lead his supporters by setting a mask during the visit.
The masks have become a political flashpoint because some Americans maintain that this requirement violates their civil liberties. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges everyone to wear a “cloth face covering when going out in public,” noting that masks are essential in areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. because the coronavirus can spread between asymptomatic people and through respiratory droplets in the air.
Even after the federal government recommended that Americans wear masks in places where social distancing is impossible, Trump said that he was unlikely to wear one himself. And while some of his co-workers kindly encouraged him to be seen following the advice of his own government, Trump insisted that wearing a mask would make him look weak and give the impression that he was not control the pandemic.
The president also ridiculed those who wore one publicly, like Biden. The White House insists that wearing a mask is not necessary for Trump, as he and his entourage are regularly tested for Covid-19.
During a May visit to a Ford factory in Michigan, Trump refused to wear a mask to the press because he said he did not want to give in to media criticism and pressure.
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Kelly Mena, Veronica Stracqualursi, Sarah Mucha, Jeremy Diamond, Kevin Liptak and Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.