President Trump has been criticized by politicians for not wearing a mask in public, but he told FOX Business’ Blake Burman on Wednesday he has worn one in the past and the only reason he doesn’t wear one more often is because everyone gets tested before meeting with him.
“I would. Oh, I have. I mean, people have seen me wearing one,” Trump said when Burman asked if he would wear a mask. “If I'm in a group of people where we're not, you know, 10 feet away, and -- but, usually, I'm not in that position. And everyone's tested. Because I'm the president, they get tested before they see me.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Sunday that a national mask mandate is “long overdue.” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said last week he "would insist that everybody in public be wearing that mask.”
But Trump said he doesn’t think a national mask mandate is necessary.
“I don't know if you need mandatory, because you have many places in the country where people stay very long distance. You talk about social distancing. But I'm all for masks,” Trump told Burman.
According to a Goldman Sachs analysis Tuesday, a national mask mandate could avert a 5 percent drop in GDP.
“If a face mask mandate meaningfully lowers coronavirus infections, it could be valuable not only from a public health perspective but also from an economic perspective because it could substitute for renewed lockdowns that would otherwise hit GDP,” the researchers wrote, according to USA Today.
It’s not only the economy that could be saved by nationwide mask-wearing. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projected last week that 33,000 deaths could be avoided if 95 percent of Americans wore masks in public.
Other Republican leaders and Trump administration officials have been pushing for the public to wear masks recently.
"When you do not wear your face covering, we end up in a situation where you see higher rates of disease spread and you end up having to close places," Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Tuesday. "This mask, this face covering, actually is an instrument of freedom for Americans if we all use it."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Calif., said there shouldn’t be any stigma around wearing a mask in public.
Now Trump is coming around to wearing masks.
“I mean, I would have no problem. Actually, I had a mask on. I sort of liked the way I looked, OK? I thought it was OK,” Trump said Wednesday. “It was a dark, black mask, and I thought it looked OK. Looked like the Lone Ranger. But, no, I have no problem with that. I think -- and if people feel good about it, they should do it.”