President Donald Trump wore a mask during a visit to wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday, CNN reported. Pictures of the president in a mask caused quite a stir on Twitter when members of the press pool shared them.
The moment marked the first time Trump publicly wore a mask in view of the press pool. The United States Centers for Disease Control, other medical professionals, and politicians from both parties have strongly encouraged mask-wearing when social distancing is not possible to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. A few covert pictures of him wearing a mask appeared at other events, but he did not wear one when the press could see him. Ahead of his trip to visit the wounded soldiers, Trump told the media that he would probably wear the piece of cloth that covered his mouth and nose, a fact he reiterated in an interview on Thursday.
“I’ll probably have a mask if you must know. I’ll probably have a mask. I think when you’re in a hospital especially in that particular setting, where you are talking to a lot of soldiers, people that in some cases just got off the operating table. I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask. I’ve never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place.”
It's the first time during the pandemic that Pres Trump has openly worn a face mask in full view of the press pool. pic.twitter.com/Io4x1gDEXS
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 11, 2020
Several pictures hit Twitter shortly after Trump walked down the halls at the medical center. He had on what appeared to be a navy blue mask with a presidential seal in the lower left-hand corner. He also wore a navy blue suit jacket with a flag pin on his lapel, a white dress shirt, and a bright blue tie. Many of the decorated military members who walked with him seemed to have on black masks.
Although some people mocked Trump on Twitter for choosing to mask up so far into the pandemic, many users responded positively to him wearing the facial covering. Some expressed relief at him finally doing so, as well as hope that others who had been resistant to wearing one in public would now choose to do so, after seeing Trump sporting one. Many Twitter accounts also expressed they thought the president looked great and powerful in the mask.
“That’s one cool mask. Will anyone talk about that?” wondered one person.
Several Twitter users also inquired about where they could buy a similar mask, but it seems like one with the presidential seal is not available through official retailers.
Trump’s public mask-wearing came after he publicly ridiculed former Vice President Joe Biden — who is the likely Democratic candidate for president — for wearing one.