President Trump visited the Walter Reed Military Hospital on Saturday where he was spotted wearing a face mask in public for the first time amid a coronavirus case in the United States.
Trump flew to a military hospital by helicopter to meet wounded soldiers and medical personnel, telling reporters at the White House before he left that he “would probably wear a mask.”
“When you’re in the hospital, in particular … I think he should wear a mask,” said the president after months of refusing to wear one in public.
As the coronavirus pandemic exploded in the United States – with more than 3.2 million confirmed cases and more than 134,000 deaths – several GOP members came out inviting people to wear masks, adding that it should be a health issue, not a policy.
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“Unfortunately, this simple life practice is now part of a political debate that says: if you are for Trump, you are not wearing a mask. If you’re against Trump, you do, “said chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., During a hearing on late coronaviruses June.
“This is why I suggested that the president should wear a mask from time to time even if there are not many occasions when it is necessary to do so. The president has millions of admirers. They would follow his example. ”
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“Everyone should just wear a damn mask,” said Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla, last month.
Trump has sent mixed messages about wearing masks, saying it would be appropriate to wear them inside and near others. But he also called on journalists to wear masks at press briefings, saying they were only doing it to be “politically correct”.
The only other time Trump would have worn a mask was during a private tour of a Ford factory in Michigan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.