President Donald Trump said Tuesday evening that all Americans should wear masks when they cannot socially distance to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Young adults may often have mild or even no symptoms,” Trump told reporters gathered in the White House briefing for his first coronavirus task force briefing in months. “They won’t even know they’re sick. They won’t have any idea that they have a virus. They won’t have any idea at all. America’s youth will act responsibly and we are asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask.”
“Get a mask,” the president continued. “Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They will have an effect and we need everything we can get.” (RELATED: ‘Nobody More Patriotic’: Trump Masks Up In Photo Encouraging More Americans To Do The Same)
Despite previously expressing that he would neither issue a national mandate on masks nor wear one himself when out in public, Trump has spent the past 10 days gradually moving toward a public position supporting mask use.
He was first publicly photographed wearing a mask during a July 10 visit to Walter Reed Medical Center. He also tweeted on Monday that wearing a mask was a form of patriotism.
“We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance,” he wrote. “There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!”
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020