Coronavirus: Trump says some Americans wearing masks just to show they dislike him

US president contradicts government advice on masks with latest comments

Gino Spocchia
Friday 19 June 2020 14:29 BST
Biden accuses Trump over waving white flag over coronavirus

Donald Trump has claimed some Americans are wearing masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic to show their disapproval of him and not to slow the virus’s spread.

The US president, who appeared to contradict US Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations with his comments, added that his issue with masks was that people touch them.

“They put their finger on the mask, and they take them off, and then they start touching their eyes and touching their nose and their mouth,” Mr Trump told The Wall Street Journal. “And then they don’t know how they caught it?”

Those comments come despite the CDC recommending “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (eg, grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

Mr Trump, who has been seen without a mask on almost all public appearances made since March, was condemned last month over his decision not to wear one whilst visiting Michigan’s Ford manufacturing plant.

“I wore one in the back area, but I didn’t want the press to get the pleasure of seeing it,” Mr Trump said at the time.

Two weeks prior to that visit, Mr Trump also went unmasked whilst touring the Arizona Honeywell plant producing ventilators to treat Covid-19 patients.

Reports suggest he does not want to “send the wrong message” to his base, who have proven more sceptical about Covid-19’s threat.

Still, the CDC states that masks can stop people with Covid-19, and those with the virus but who are not aware, from spreading it to others.

The president said on Wednesday that the US was in “great shape” as new coronavirus cases increased in more than 20 states.

He added that his administration, which has overseen more than 120,000 Covid-19 deaths to date, had made “all the right moves” since the virus entered the US.

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