President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Americans to wear a mask to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask,” Trump said. “Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact, they’ll have an effect, and we need everything we can get.”
The president spoke about masks during a press briefing on recent flare-ups of the coronavirus.
This was the president’s strongest endorsement for wearing a mask, despite expressing skepticism for months about their effectiveness at preventing the spread of the virus.
Showing his mask to one reporter, Trump said that he carried it with him and put it on when he was unable to properly socially distance to prevent the spread of the virus.
“I carry the mask … I have the mask right here. I carry it and I will use it gladly. No problem with it,” Trump said. “I’ve said that and I say when you can: use the mask.”
Trump recalled, however, that federal doctors once advised against wearing masks, but he said that he now supported the idea after the professionals changed their guidance.
On Tuesday, President Trump also promoted wearing a mask, sharing a photo of himself on Twitter.
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. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020
Despite Trump’s support for wearing masks, he opposed setting a national mask mandate during an interview with Fox News that aired Sunday.
“I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that,” Trump said, adding that he did not agree with the idea that if everyone wore a mask the virus would vanish.
Trump also said during the interview that he was a “believer in masks” but added that “masks cause problems, too.