While President Donald Trump has attracted widespread criticism for his reluctance to wear a face mask in public amid the coronavirus pandemic, he explained during a recent Fox Business Network interview that he is actually very much in favor of the preventative measure against COVID-19.
“I’m all for masks,” Trump said on Wednesday, according to the New York Post. “I think masks are good.”
“If I were in a tight situation”
The president was spotted with his face covered during a tour of a Michigan Ford plant in May, but has otherwise refrained from wearing a mask amid widespread concern over COVID-19. That is primarily due to his unique situation as president, he added.
“If I were in a group of people and I was close, I would,” he said of the practice recommended by health experts, according to the Post. “People have seen me wearing one if I’m in a group of people where we’re not 10 feet away.”
Trump said that he is rarely in such a situation, though, rendering frequent mask use unnecessary.
“Usually I’m not in that position and everyone’s tested because I’m the president and they get tested before they see me, [but] if I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely,” the president promised, according to the Post.
In fact, he said the look of himself in a mask was “no problem,” saying that he approved of his appearance in one.
“I thought it was OK,” he remarked. “It was a dark black mask and I thought it looked OK. It looked like the Lone Ranger, but I have no problem with that.”
“It looked like the Lone Ranger”
The president is the latest Republican to take a more serious tone in urging Americans to wear a mask to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, which is spiking in a number of states. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spoke out in a tweet regarding the issue.
“We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people,” he said on Monday. “Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter.”
Early evidence seemed to suggest mask use was largely ineffective against the virus, but the prevailing opinion has changed in recent months.
While critics have denounced Trump’s take on masks, it is clear from his most recent comments that he understands the potential benefits of following his own administration’s recommendations.