President Donald Trump has faced widespread criticism for his reluctance to wear a face mask in public throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
That will reportedly change this week, however. According to The Hill, Trump said he expects to cover his face during an upcoming visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“Such a great job”
As prevailing medical opinion has shifted toward recommending face masks in many situations as a means of keeping the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum, even Trump has espoused an evolving view on the topic. Most recently, he addressed his upcoming trip.
“I’m going to Walter Reed to see some of our great soldiers who have been injured,” he told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity during an interview on Thursday, according to The Hill. “Badly injured. And also see some of our COVID workers, people who have done such a great job.”
Trump described such a hospital visit as one of the scenarios in which a face mask would be appropriate attire.
“I expect to be wearing a mask when I go into Walter Reed,” the president said, as THe Hill reported. “You’re in a hospital so I think it’s a very appropriate thing.”
His comments suggest the media might capture images of Trump with his face covered, which he has been known to avoid in the past. He was denounced by a number of political adversaries following a tour of a Michigan Ford plant in May because he did not wear a mask.
“People have seen me wearing one”
Trump said at the time that he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” but alluded to the fact that he wore one in a different setting — and a leaked photo later confirmed it.
In recent weeks, however, he has become more supportive of the safety measure as more medical evidence emerges.
“I’m all for masks,” he said in a Fox Business Network interview earlier this month, according to CBS News. “I think masks are good. People have seen me wearing one.”
He went on to say that he liked the way he looked in a mask, comparing it to the Lone Ranger and reiterating his belief that face coverings should be used in certain situations.
If reporters finally get a clear look at the president in a mask, perhaps they can focus on the substance behind his visit to the military hospital.