President Donald Trump spoke out in favor of face masks on Wednesday but said that he would not order Americans to wear them. He addressed the issue in an interview with Fox Business, claiming that there were parts of the country where a mask mandate would only cause problems. Trump also denied speculation that he does not want to be seen wearing a mask in public.
The president is "all for masks," he said on Wednesday, but he does not think a national mandate to wear them in public is necessary. "I don't know if you need mandatory," he said. "You have many places in the country where people stay very long distance. But I'm all for masks, I think masks are good." As for himself, Trump said that he would "have no problem" wearing a mask himself, but said: "usually I'm not in that position."
Trump ludicrously claimed to Fox Business just now that "I think we're gonna be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope." (The virus will not disappear on its own.) pic.twitter.com/ZkLtjKUEDu— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 1, 2020
"Everyone gets tested [for COVID-19] before they see me," the president explained. He did not address the comments from many pundits who think the president should be seen wearing a mask just to set a good example for his supporters and the rest of the country. However, he claimed that he had worn one in a crowd of people at some point, saying: "I had a mask on, I sort of liked the way I looked."
According to a report by CNBC, a national mask mandate could have numerous benefits for the U.S. if deployed now. For one thing, it could allow stay-at-home orders and other lockdown protocols to relax in some cases, and according to one Goldman Sachs analysis, it could save 5 percent of America's GDP that way.
Trump claimed that this is not necessary, assuring Fox Business that the economy is already on the way out of the coronavirus fallout. He said that we see a "V-shaped recovery." However, unemployment remains at a historical high, and businesses continue to close down — if not by state order then because of illnesses within the staff or other operational concerns.
"I think we're going to be very good with the coronavirus," Trump said. "I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope." Despite the president's hopes, new cases of the coronavirus are on the rise in many states — notably those that were the first to try to reopen public spaces and businesses. On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told the United States Senate that about half of all new coronavirus cases in the U.S. are coming from just four states — Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.
"I'm very concerned, and I'm not satisfied with what's going on because we're going in the wrong direction if you look at the curves of the new cases, so we really have got to do something about that, and we need to do it quickly," he said.