Trump Says He's Coming Around on Wearing a Mask Because 'It Looked Like the Lone Ranger'

The president has long resisted publicly wearing a mask but said Wednesday: "I have no problem with that, and if people feel good about it they should do it"

donald trump, lone ranger
President Donald Trump (left) and Armie Hammer in The Lone Ranger (2013). Photo: Win McNamee/Getty; y Jerry Bruckheimer Films/Kobal/Shutterstock

President Donald Trump has decided he kind of likes the way he looks in a mask.

After months of resisting public health recommendations to wear a face mask to slow the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), even as other top Republicans began stressing their importance and saying masks shouldn't be stigmatized, Trump told Fox Business this week he's "all for masks."

It was a reversal from his previous comments, including saying in April that he wouldn't be wearing a mask even as he announced new federal guidelines recommending them. In May, Trump said he wore a mask during a tour of a factory but only while he was out of public view, to spite the press.

But in his interview on Wednesday, the president said: “I’m all for masks. I think masks are good. People have seen me wearing one. ... If I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely [wear one].”

Trump went on to boast that he looked like a certain on-screen hero when he wore a mask, referencing The Lone Ranger, a Western television series that ran from 1949 to 1957 and featured a gun-wielding cowboy character — who famously wore a mask over his eyes.

"I had a mask on. I sort of liked the way I looked. I thought it was okay. It was a dark black mask, and I thought it looked okay. It looked like the Lone Ranger," he joked with Fox Business. "I have no problem with that, and if people feel good about it they should do it."

Armie Hammer — who played the Lone Ranger in a 2013 film adaptation alongside Johnny Depp — responded to Trump's comment. The actor, 33, tweeted derisively on Wednesday that the commander in chief does not resemble the titular protagonist, who "fought for justice."

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Earlier this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged the president to endorse wearing face coverings amid the pandemic since the protective measures have been proven to be effective when paired with social distancing.

“We did it two months ago in this state,” said Cuomo, 62, at a Tuesday press briefing. “Let the president have the same sense to do that as an executive order [to encourage mask-wearing nationwide] and then let the president lead by example and let the president put a mask on it, because we know it works.”

Other Republican leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have since spoken out in support of masks and of not politicizing the health guideline.

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Back in April, First Lady Melania Trump encouraged everyone to wear face coverings while out in public, addressing citizens in a series of PSAs.

“As the CDC continues to study the spread of the COVID-19, they recommend that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures can be difficult to maintain,” she captioned a photo of herself with a white mask covering the bottom half of her face at the time.

"Remember," she added, "this does not replace the importance of social distancing. It is recommended to keep us all safe."

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