For first time, Trump wears face mask while visiting military medical facility in Bethesda
BETHESDA (US) – For the first time, US President Donald Trump was spotted wearing a face mask when he visited a military medical facility outside Washington on Saturday to meet wounded troops and front-line health workers. The president usually avoids wearing a mask while appearing in public.
The president visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
He had earlier refused to wear a face mask and desisted from urging Americans to wear one, saying that it was a personal choice. But he said that he would wear one if he was in a crowd and was unable to maintain social distancing.
“I think when you are in a hospital, especially in that particular setting when 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,” Trump said in a media briefing at his residence just before his visit.
At the hospital, Trump walked by media persons for a carefully staged photo opportunity donning a navy blue mask emblazoned with a gold embossed presidential seal. He said only “thank you” as he passed.
Key American public health officials have urged the use of face masks to slow the spread of the virus, which claimed as many as 134,000 lives in the country as of Friday. Critics said the president’s refusal to wear a mask in public showed a lack of leadership.
Although officials in his administration have urged the use of masks and social distancing, Trump has pressured states to reopen closed economies.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field