President Donald Trump tweeted an image of himself wearing a face mask and indirectly called the act “patriotic” — a clear pivot away from his earlier reluctance to wear a facial covering in public.
“We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance,” Trump tweeted — nearly three months after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended wearing masks in public.
“There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!” he added.
The image appears to show Trump wearing a mask with the presidential seal at his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center earlier this month — his first and only time so far donning a facial covering in public after months of refusing to be seen doing so in public amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The shift to encouraging mask-wearing was primarily motivated by floundering poll numbers, a source familiar with the President’s thinking told CNN.
For months, aides tried to get Trump to wear a mask, saying they could have “MAGA”, “Trump-Pence 2020” or even the American flag printed on them. But he steadfastly refused and only wore a mask once in public.
But it wasn’t until a meeting with campaign aides at the White House last week, where aides bluntly told him even internal numbers showed Americans didn’t approve of his response, that Trump relented, according to an official who attended that meeting.
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