US President Donald Trump has said he would not consider a national mandate requiring Americans to wear face masks.
Speaking with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, Trump appeared skeptical about the effectiveness of masks. He said he did not agree with and would not be ordering a national mask mandate saying he wants ‘people to have a certain freedom’
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Mail Online reports: Trump’s response came after he was asked about issuing a nationwide facial covering mandate for all Americans during an interview to be broadcast on Fox News this weekend.
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‘I don’t believe in that, no,’ the president told Chris Wallace for a segment of Fox News Sunday.
The president, answering Wallace if he had any regrets not wearing a mask sooner before wearing a facial covering in public for the first time during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday, also said, ‘No.’
The president also dismissed a CDC recommendation that if all Americans wore masks, the virus could be contained within a matter of weeks.
The agency this week urged people to continue wearing masks to stop the spread of the disease, citing studies which showed they are a ‘critical tool’ in the pandemic.
‘I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wear a mask, everything could disappear,’ he told Wallace.
Trump also threw in a jab at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading epidemiologist and member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, who the president’s administration has split with on the debate over facial coverings.
‘Hey Dr. Fauci said don’t wear a mask. Our surgeon general, terrific guy, said don’t wear a mask,’ the president said in a reference to US Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
The president’s references to Fauci and Adams were made in a rebuke of mixed messaging over facial coverings.
‘Everybody was saying don’t wear a mask. All of a sudden, everybody’s gotta wear mask, and as you know, masks cause problems too.’
Fauci admitted to NPR that conflicting advice offered early on in the pandemic were to blame for the debate that now rages over whether people should wear masks.