‘If you “looked like the Lone Ranger,” you had it on wrong,’ one Twitter user notes
Under growing pressure from health officials and lawmakers from both parties, President Donald Trump on Wednesday finally endorsed wearing face masks. Kind of.
“I’m all for masks,” Trump said during an interview with Fox Business, despite last month telling the Wall Street Journal that some people wear masks just to show their disapproval of him, adding that masks are ineffective because people fidget with them too much.
Trump has reportedly refused to be seen wearing a face mask in public, saying he’s tested regularly enough to negate the need for a mask.
But Trump said Wednesday he has nothing against mask-wearing, though he said there is no need for a national mandate despite a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
“Actually, I had a mask on. I sort of liked the way I looked, OK? I thought it was OK,” Trump told Fox Business. “It was a dark, black mask, and I thought it looked OK. Looked like the Lone Ranger. But, no, I have no problem with that. I think — and if people feel good about it, they should do it.”
That raised the hackles of many, many people online, who pointed out that a face mask worn to prevent the spread of the coronavirus covers one’s mouth and nose, while the Lone Ranger’s mask covered his upper face.
While some noted the similarity of what Trump described to a recent viral photo:
A number of Republican lawmakers have been calling on Trump to endorse mask-wearing for the sake of public health. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on Tuesday said Trump needs to set a good example for others.
“Unfortunately, this simple, lifesaving practice has become part of a political debate that says: If you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask. If you’re against Trump, you do,” Alexander said, according to the Associated Press.
Public health officials have stated repeatedly in recent months that wearing a face mask is among the simplest and most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has infected more than 10 million people worldwide and killed more than 500,000, including nearly 130,000 in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
A recent Goldman Sachs study has also found that a national mask mandate would give a big boost to the economy by saving it from taking a 5% GDP hit.