Following months of criticism for not wearing face-covering in public, President Donald Trump was seen sporting a blue mask during a trip to Walter Reed National Medical Center.
Before his visit, Trump told reporters, “I think when you are in a hospital, especially in that particular setting when you are talking to a lot of soldiers, people that in some cases just got off the operating table, I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask.”
Earlier this month,Trump said, “I’m all for masks, I think masks are good.”
However, he explained that he has not been seen wearing a mask in public because he is usually able to remain socially distant, and the people he comes in contact with are tested beforehand.
Images of Trump wearing a mask quickly spread on Twitter:
For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, President Trump has been seen by the White House press corps wearing a mask. Today, he's sporting the face covering while visiting wounded troops at Walter Reed Medical Center. pic.twitter.com/shJXuzYhis— Jason Hoffman (@JasonHoffman93) July 11, 2020
Trump wore a mask in public for the first time today during his trip to Walter Reed hospital pic.twitter.com/dk8lW7lT2M— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 11, 2020
However, when he left, he was not wearing a mask:
MOMENTS AGO: President Trump departs Walter Reed hospital. He is no longer wearing a mask. pic.twitter.com/pkouDljkbu— The Hill (@thehill) July 11, 2020
Despite criticism of not wearing a mask, Trump has previously insisted that he has worn face masks and, “I sorta liked the way I looked.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that Americans wear face coverings when they are unable to practice social distancing.
“Be an example to the country and wear the mask. It’s not about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting others and their families,” she added.
And in May, former Vice President Joe Biden (D) responded to a tweet Trump shared that apparently poked fun at Biden for wearing a mask at a Memorial Day event.
“He’s a fool … An absolute fool to talk that way,” Biden said. “This macho stuff, for a guy — I shouldn’t get going, but it just, it costs people’s lives. It’s costing people’s lives.”
“Presidents are supposed to lead, not engage in folly and be falsely masculine,” he added.