President Donald Trump told Fox Business Network’s Blake Burman on Wednesday that he supports wearing masks to prevent transmission of coronavirus, but that he did not want to make wearing masks mandatory.
The president’s comments came during a White House interview that aired Wednesday. Trump suggested in March that Americans cover their faces — at a time when few officials were advising the use of masks — but has since resisted wearing one in public.
Burman brought up the subject in a wide-ranging interview:
Burman: Speaking of COVID-19, Goldman Sachs put out a model yesterday saying that if there is universal masks, it would be a net positive for GDP. We know the IHME model says that if there were universal masks, that it would be beneficial, it would save lives. So if there is an economic benefit, sir, and there is a public health benefit, sir, why not go forward and say there should be mandatory masks all across this country?
Trump: Well, I don’t know if you need “mandatory,” because you have many places in the country where people stay very long distance. You talk about social distancing. But I’m all for masks. I think masks are good. I would wear — if I were in a group of people and I was close –
Burman: You would wear one?
Trump: Oh, I would — oh, I have. I mean, people have seen me wearing one. If I’m in a group of people where we’re not, you know, ten feet away but usually I’m not in that position and everyone’s tested because I’m the president, they get tested before they see me. But if I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely –
Burman: Do you think the public will see that at some point?
Trump: I mean, I have no problem. Actually, I had a mask on. I sort of like the way I looked, okay? I thought it was okay. It was a dark black mask and I thought it looked okay. I 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.
Trump was referring to a recent visit to a Ford plant in which he wore a mask out of view of the press. His Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, has said that he would make the wearing of masks mandatory nationwide, though he did not explain how he would do so or whether he had the constitutional authority to impose or enforce that rule.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.