As private companies and local governments continue to require that face masks be worn in certain public places, Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace asked President Donald Trump whether he would consider instituting a national mandate on the coronavirus safety measure.
“No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that,” he said, as reported by Breitbart.
“Masks cause problems, too”
His latest remarks on the matter came during a recent interview for an appearance on Fox News Sunday set to air this weekend.
“No, and I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wears a mask, everything disappears,” Trump added. “Hey, Dr. Fauci said don’t wear a mask. Our surgeon general — terrific guy — said don’t wear a mask.”
The president noted a shift in recommendations from health experts as the pandemic has continued to spread across the nation and around the world.
“Everybody who is saying don’t wear a mask — all of a sudden, everybody’s got to wear a mask, and as you know, masks cause problems, too,” he said. “With that being said, I’m a believer in masks. I think masks are good.”
Early on in the spread of the coronavirus, many experts feared a shortage of face masks and other personal protective equipment for the nation’s healthcare workers. Furthermore, limited knowledge of its spread led others to declare that wearing a simple face mask would do little to abate the highly contagious virus.
“In very short supply”
In February, a tweet from Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams urged Americans not to buy masks and claimed they “are not effective” in preventing transmission of COVID-19.
As the situation has changed, White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci and other experts have shifted their advice.
“We were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply,” Fauci said in a recent interview.
He went on to explain that the early recommendations were designed “to make sure the people, namely, the healthcare workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in harm’s way to take care of people who you know were infected with coronavirus, and the danger of them getting infected.”
Whether the president issues a federal mandate or not, it is clear that the self-proclaimed “believer in masks” is on board with the overwhelming evidence that the simple step can be a step in defeating the coronavirus.