First Lady Melania Trump posted a photo of herself wearing a face mask on Tuesday, and encouraging others to do the same. She sported a white surgical mask over her nose and mouth as she stood by a White House window eyeing the camera. Her post comes shortly after President Donald Trump wore a face mask in public for the first time.
The coronavirus pandemic has been raging for months in the U.S., and the Trump administration is now changing its tune on face masks. That includes the first lady, who made her pro-mask plea on Twitter this week. "Even in the summer months, please remember to wear face coverings & practice social distancing," she wrote. "The more precaution we take now can mean a healthier & safer country in the Fall."
Even in the summer months, please remember to wear face coverings & practice social distancing. The more precaution we take now can mean a healthier & safer country in the Fall. pic.twitter.com/80dGOWIyDJ— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) July 14, 2020
The photo seemed to be taken from the same photo op as a video that Melania posted on Sunday, where she wore a white mask and a matching blouse. She visited The Mary Elizabeth House — a resource center for single mothers and their children — as a part of her "Be Best" initiative.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, public health experts and doctors have urged people to wear face coverings in public if possible, although the issue has become politicized in the U.S. The president himself was apparently aloof to the accessories at best, while some of his known allies spoke out against them, in spite of scientific advice. The first lady was also relatively quiet on the issue.
It was a pleasure to spend time with the staff, mothers & children at The Mary Elizabeth House, a place that helps strengthen families & provides life skills, counseling & educational resources to help vulnerable single women & their children. #BeBest pic.twitter.com/hQSjP0sHi1— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) July 12, 2020
That changed this weekend, when the president visited Walter Reed Medical Center just outside Washington, D.C. According to a report by CNN, Trump finally agreed to wear a mask to the appearance after "pleading" from his aides. Many of his staff members then posted encouragement and praise for this photo op on social media.
All of this newfound pro-mask rhetoric comes in the week where the White House was expected to undertake a drastic shift in its treatment of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, a source inside the White House told NBC News that the Trump administration was preparing a whole new line of messaging around the virus, centered around the basic slogan: "learn to live with it."
The idea was reportedly to unify some of the scattered messaging coming from the president and his various officials, creating a "sharper, less conflicting" response. The source said the intent was to focus more on therapeutic drugs and treatments for the virus, some of which would be "market-moving." They also hinted that frequent press conferences might be making a comeback.