President Donald Trump told Americans to wear a mask whether they like it or not, at his first coronavirus-specific new conference since April.
“Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact,” Trump said at the White House briefing Tuesday. “We’re asking everybody when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask.”
Face coverings became highly politicized after Trump resisted wearing a mask in public, until tweeting Monday that “it is Patriotic to wear a face mask.” The reversal followed polls that showed his refusal to champion masks was out of step with concerns about rising case counts nationwide.
Trump is facing pressure to show he is making progress dealing with the pandemic, as polls show Americans increasingly disapprove of his response as the number of U.S. infections have soared.
He also touted the improvements in methods to treat people suffering from COVID-19, pointing to improvements in the use of ventilators and the use of remdesivir. Such measures have cut fatalities by 75% since April highs, Trump said at the briefing.
Increasing caseloads in parts of the country have prompted states to freeze or reverse plans to reopen their economies and caused many school districts to plan for online classes in the fall over the objections of the Trump administration.
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