So continued Trump's back-and-forth about face coverings

By Adam Carlson
July 21, 2020 10:51 AM
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On Monday President Donald Trump told his Twitter followers to consider wearing a face mask — and then, according to video on social media, he was promptly seen at a fundraiser without one on though he said it was the "patriotic" thing to do.

And so continued Trump's back-and-forth about face coverings, which health officials recommend as a key precaution to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The president, 74, has repeatedly resisted that same advice: In April, right after announcing new guidelines from the Centers or Disease Control and Prevention, Trump said he wouldn't wear a mask.

In May, he told reporters he had avoided being seen with one during a factory tour to spite the press.

Then, earlier this month, the president seemed to soften on the idea — telling Fox News he was "all for masks" and that "if I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely [wear one]."

(He also cracked that the mask he wore made him look like the Lone Ranger.)

President Donald Trump
| Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty
President Donald Trump (left) during a July 11 visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland
| Credit: ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

On Monday Trump reiterated his pro-mask opinion, a seeming reflection of the importance of face coverings as coronavirus cases have risen sharply in many parts of the country and various cities and states have implemented mask mandates.

In that same tweet, he also used inflammatory language to refer to the coronavirus.

"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 on Twitter on Monday afternoon. "There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!"

That night, however, he was seen at a fundraising event at his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and was not wearing a mask. Video from the event was shared by an MSNBC producer on social media.

That came after a July 11 visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, when the president wore a mask — the first public appearance at which he did so.

Both the president and Vice President Mike Pence are regularly tested for the coronavirus, which has infected various White House staffers since March (including Pence's spokeswoman, who recovered).

The vice president drew backlash in April when he opted against wearing a mask during a visit to a Mayo Clinic with coronavirus patients. He later apologized and has worn masks in subsequent appearances though not always.

Likewise First Lady Melania Trump has spoken about the importance of wearing masks during the pandemic, but she has sometimes been seen at events without one on.

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