Trump Blasts Mandatory Face Masks: ‘I Looked Like the Lone Ranger’
President pushes back against forced mask wearing
President Donald Trump said that while he supports wearing face masks to prevent transmission of COVID-19, he said he didn't support making them mandatory.
Trump spoke to Fox News Blake Burman on Wednesday during a White House interview on the subject of wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus.
Burman asked Trump:
"Speaking of COVID-19, Goldman Sachs put out a model yesterday saying that if there is universal masks, it would be a net positive for GDP. We know the IHME model says that if there were universal masks, that it would be beneficial, it would save lives.
"So if there is an economic benefit, sir, and there is a public health benefit, sir, why not go forward and say there should be mandatory masks all across this country?"
"Well, I don’t know if you need 'mandatory,' because you have many places in the country where people stay very long distance," he said.
"You talk about social distancing. But I’m all for masks," Trump added.
"I think masks are good. I would wear — if I were in a group of people, and I was close."
"You would wear one?" Burman asked.
"Oh, I would — oh, I have," Trump replied.
"I mean, people have seen me wearing one. If I’m in a group of people where we’re not, you know, ten feet away but usually I’m not in that position, and everyone’s tested because I’m the president, they get tested before they see me," Trump continued.
"But if I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely," the president added.
"Do you think the public will see that at some point?" Burman asked.
"I mean, I have no problem," Trump said.
"Actually, I had a mask on. I sort of like the way I looked, okay?"
"I thought it was okay. It was a dark black mask, and I thought it looked okay. I looked like the Lone Ranger," Trump joked.
"But no, I have no problem with that. I think — and if people feel good about it they should do it."
Last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a “long overdue” mandatory face mask requirement to be implemented across the US.
During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week," Pelosi claimed the current non-mandatory requirement by the Centers for Disease Control was to avoid "offending" President Donald Trump.
In June, former Vice President Joe Biden also vowed that he would force Americans to wear masks in public if elected president.
Biden said he would use federal powers to compel the public to use the face coverings during a pandemic.
Such a move would mark a significant intervention by the federal government and could see considerable pushback from states.