After Donald Trump publicly cast doubt on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the coronavirus outbreak could be brought under control with widespread use of masks or facial coverings, a prominent doctor blasted the president as "unteachable."
Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a CNN medical analyst and director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at The George Washington University Hospital, said during an appearance on CNN that there is no downside to using masks, contradicting the president. He added that it is baffling why Trump does not take the advice of health experts who have said that donning facial coverings is the most effective way to slow the spread.
In the interview on Fox News Sunday, Wallace told Trump about guidance from the CDC saying that if everyone in America were to wear a face covering for four to six weeks, the coronavirus could be brought under control. He then asked the president if he regretting waiting so long to be seen with one himself, and if he would consider a national mandate requiring their use.
Trump disagreed, saying he did not stand with the CDC's guidance that wearing a face covering would tamp down the spread of the coronavirus. He then went on to refer to unspecified "problems" that can come from their use.
"Everybody who is saying don't wear a mask – all of sudden everybody's got to wear a mask, and as you know masks cause problems, too," he said.
Trump added that he would leave the decision up to governors, noting that some have put into place mandates for people to use face coverings while others do not believe it.
Reiner disagreed with Trump's assertion, saying that a nationwide mandate would be very beneficial to Trump personally as it would slow down the current surge in cases and allow schools to reopen in the fall, which has been a goal for Trump.
"He's unteachable and I can't understand it," Reiner said. "His failure to understand this simple public health measure, his reluctance to accept the advice of all his public health experts makes me wonder whether he really is qualified now to manage this."
Trump has come under fire for his opposition to personally wearing a facial covering, including several appearances where he broke local or state mandates for all people to use them in public. It was not until recently that he was seen with a mask.