Donald Trump makes masks U-turn claiming he looks like 'Lone Ranger' in one

2 July 2020, 10:01

The President has backpedaled on his previous comments
The President has backpedaled on his previous comments. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

US President Donald Trump has made a U-turn on his stance on wearing face masks in public telling a reporter that he is now "all for masks."

The President told Fox Business news he thinks when he wears a mask it makes him look like the Lone Ranger.

"I'm all for masks. I think masks are good. People have seen me wearing one," he said.

"If I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely."

His comments come after members of his own party suggested he should wear a mask while in public in order to set a good example.

Mr Trump has long resisted being photographed while wearing a mask.

Previously the President said he doubted he would wear a mask at any point during the pandemic.

"Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens - I just don't see it," he said.

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In early April, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures were difficult to maintain.

Mr Trump immediately undercut the CDC guidance by flatly stating that he would not follow it, suggesting it would be unseemly for the president to wear a mask as he meets with heads of state.

On Wednesday, he sounded a different tone, saying: "I had a mask on. I sort of liked the way I looked. OK. I thought it was OK. It was a dark black mask, and I thought it looked OK.

"It looked like the Lone Ranger," he added, referring to the law-and-order character from the American Old West who wore a black eye mask.

"I have no problem with that, and if people feel good about it, they should do it."

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In recent days, many Republicans and members of the White House coronavirus task force have been more outspoken in advocating for Americans to wear face masks in public settings as infections have surged across the South and West.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former vice president Joe Biden, said last week that he would pursue a federal mask mandate, if elected.

In Wednesday's interview, Mr Trump suggested a federal mandate was unnecessary and continued to frame mask wearing as a matter of choice.

He also continued to characterise coronavirus as a nuisance that he hopes will just go away.

He said: "I think we are going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that, at some point, that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope."