Washington, July 10: President Donald Trump is going to wear a mask, which has been declared the most effective tool in the battle against Covid-19 by experts around the world, when he visits a military hospital on Saturday. He has been pointedly averse to it for himself while allowing experts the last word for others.
Trump reportedly dropped his resistance to a mask or any face-covering at the “pleading” of aides, as the United States has continued to witness a surge in new infections, which went up by 63,247 over the past 24 hours to a cumulative 3.11 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Deaths climbed by 990 over the same time-span to 133,291.
President Trump, who is pushing the country to get past the epidemic, had attributed the spike to increased testing, contrary to the reason stated by health experts and scientists. Trump has also focused on declining mortality rates to make his case. Statistically, the percentage of people testing positive has been on a rise, along with soaring number of people getting hospitalised, especially in the southern and western states hit the hardest such as Texas, Florida, and California.
For the first time, Trump will wear a mask during his Saturday visit to the Walter Reed military hospital in Bethesda, in the adjoining state of Maryland.
“I’m going to Walter Reed to see some of our great soldiers who have been injured. Badly injured. And also see some of our Covid workers, people who have such a great job,” Trump said in an interview to Fox News Thursday. “And I expect to be wearing a mask when I go into Walter Reed. You’re in a hospital so I think it’s a very appropriate thing.”
The American president declared his refusal to use a facial covering early in March, when his public health officials first recommended them as part of their plan to slow the spread of the virus. “I don’t see it for myself,” he had said then and has stood by it since, fanning a culture war around it.
Some conservative Americans have refused to wear a mask to register their independence from the state. One Republican member of the House of Representatives Matt Gaetz, who is from Florida and is a staunch ally of the president, famously wore a gas mask to the chamber to make his point. (HT)