Trump Tweets Pic of Himself in 'Patriotic' Mask

President does a U-turn on facial coverings amid coronavirus pandemic
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2020 12:01 AM CDT
Trump Tweets Mask Pic, Calls Them 'Patriotic'
In this Saturday, July 11, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump wears a face mask as he walks down a hallway during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – President Trump has officially done a 180 on masks. "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," Trump tweeted Monday alongside a photo of himself wearing a mask at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his first and so far only time wearing a facial covering in public. "There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!" The Hill calls it Trump's "most explicit endorsement of the use of masks yet."

A source tells CNN the dramatic shift was prompted by the president's declining poll numbers. Aides reportedly told him "bluntly" last week that even according to internal numbers, Americans do not approve of his stance on masks. But he's apparently not ready to issue a national mask mandate yet; he told Fox News on Sunday, "I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that." He added, "I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wears a mask everything disappears. Hey, Dr. Fauci said don’t wear a mask. Our surgeon general—terrific guy—said don’t wear a mask.” (Read more President Trump stories.)

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