The president of the United States finally decided to act like an adult on Saturday and wore a face mask during his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington.
This marks the first time the president has been seen in public wearing a facial covering that his own health officials and departments have for months recommended all citizens use to prevent spreading COVID-19.
“I think when you’re in a hospital, especially in that particular setting, where you’re talking to a lot of soldiers and people that, in some cases, just got off the operating tables, 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,” the president told reporters while he met with wounded service members and medical professionals.
In May, Trump briefly wore a mask while touring a Ford Motor company plant but refused to wear one during the public portion of the factory tour, violating factory policy. The president justified his actions by saying, “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
Trump has been dangerously stubborn about not wearing a mask, even with the ubiquitous warnings that doing so not only helps limit the spread of the virus but would also set a good example, especially to the president’s conspiracy-believing supporters.
According to NPR, research shows that widespread mask-wearing “could help prevent between 17,742 and 28,030 deaths across the United States before Oct. 1.”
With more than 130,000 Americans dead from the virus and positive cases on a steady rise in most states, wearing a mask is the least we should expect from our fellow citizens. It is sad that it is actual news that the leader of the nation is picking up the rear on a life or death topic, but here we are.