Trump Finally Wears a Mask for Cameras During Visit to Military Hospital

President denied he was anti-masks, telling Fox Business last week that he was “all for masks,” adding “I think masks are good”

Donald Trump
Photo credit: Getty Images

President Donald Trump made a rare public appearance donning a mask on Saturday.

The president wore the mask while visiting wounded service members and COVID-19 health care providers at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. As he left the White House, Trump told reporters: “When you’re in a hospital, especially … I think it’s expected to wear a mask,” according to the Associated Press.

People on Twitter took the opportunity to poke fun of comments the president made earlier this month when he said he thought he looked like The Lone Ranger while wearing a mask. Some joked that he wasn’t wearing it properly, then, considering The Lone Ranger wears it over his eyes, not his mouth and nose.

“I sort of liked the way it looked,” Trump said. “It was a dark black mask, and I thought it looked OK. It looked like the Lone Ranger.”

The idea of wearing a mask in public places, which some states require and the CDC strongly recommends, has become a politically polarizing debate in the U.S. despite experts saying it significantly reduces the risk of spreading the virus.

Trump has been regularly criticized for forgoing a mask in public and has been seen in close proximity to others without a mask on multiple occasions. At press conferences about the pandemic and its effects and during a tour of a factory repurposed to produce ventilators for people infected by the virus, the president was spotted with no facial covering. Ahead of the May factory tour, the Michigan attorney general even wrote an open letter imploring him to wear a mask out of “legal responsibility.”

The president said he did wear a mask during part of that visit to the Michigan plant, but for the most part has declined to wear one during news conferences, coronavirus task force updates, rallies and other public events.