Coronavirus Outbreak

Trump Says Masks Are ‘Good’ But Questions Requiring Them

July 1, 2020, 10:41 PM

President Donald Trump said he’d wear a mask if he were “in a tight situation with people” but that he’s not convinced they should be required even as coronavirus cases are spiking in parts of the U.S.

“I don’t know if you need mandatory,” Trump said Wednesday in a Fox Business Network interview. “I’m all for masks, I think masks are good.”

Trump has mocked his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, for wearing a mask and hasn’t publicly worn one, though he is facing calls to do so. His comments come a day after Surgeon General Jerome Adams said: “Please, please, please wear a face covering when you go out in public.”

Trump targeted Biden again Wednesday in an interview with conservative commentator Eric Bolling, saying the presumptive Democratic nominee wore his mask even when the audience he was addressing had been seated far away.

“He is speaking with a mask on and you can’t even understand what he is saying,” Trump said, adding that “when there is nobody around, I don’t see a reason to wear it.”

Trump added that Americans should “do what makes you feel good” and follow guidelines, and alluded in both interviews to wearing a face covering during a tour of a ventilator plant in Michigan. In that visit, he opted not to wear the covering in front of the media but was photographed masked during a private part of the tour.

Earlier: Trump’s Surgeon General Says ‘Please, Please, Please’ Wear Mask

“I had a mask on, I sort of liked the way I looked,” Trump told Fox Business, adding that he thought he looked like the Lone Ranger.

Trump said that if we were in a group of people, he would wear one but that usually everyone around him is tested for the coronavirus. Since the pandemic began, Trump has resisted wearing a mask even when he stands near others, and was criticized for holding a rally last month at an indoor arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where masks weren’t required.

Some states require residents wear masks in certain situations and the White House has urged Americans to follow local guidelines.

(Updates with Trump interview with Eric Bolling in fourth through sixth paragraph.)

To contact the reporters on this story:
Mario Parker in Washington at mparker22@bloomberg.net;
Justin Sink in Washington at jsink1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net

Justin Blum, John Harney

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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