A well-known Republican lawmaker urged President Donald Trump to wear a mask to de-politicize the issue.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and told CNN on Sunday that Trump could set a better example for Americans and he could help end the political debate on wearing masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
"If wearing masks is important and all the health experts tell us that it is in containing the disease in 2020, it would help if from time to time the president would wear one to help us get rid of this political debate that says if you're for Trump, you don't wear a mask, if you're against Trump, you do," said Alexander, who is retiring at the end of this year.
"My suggestion to the president all along and for the other political leaders is let the experts do the talking about medicine. People trust them."
Health experts recommend wearing some sort of face covering, whether it's a standard mask or one made of cloth, when in public and/or when in groups. Several states and municipalities require the practice.
On Friday during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci — the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — said social distancing and wearing masks are essential right now with several virus outbreaks popping up in various parts of the country. During the same briefing, however, Vice President Mike Pence touted the "remarkable progress" the U.S. has made in the fight against the virus.
Trump was spotted wearing a mask during a private tour of a Ford plant in Michigan last month, but he has mostly shunned the practice, at least in front of the media.
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