President Donald Trump appeared to encourage Americans to wear face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic. While he did not directly urge people to do so, he said others have indicated that wearing a mask is "patriotic" and then said he is the most patriotic person.
The president, who avoided wearing a mask in public until nine days ago, has not called for a national mandate.
"We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance," Trump tweeted. "There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!"
Trump first wore a mask in public view on July 11 when he visited wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Washington, D.C.
At least half the states in the U.S. have issued statewide mandates for people to wear face coverings. Many businesses have done the same.
Some states have resisted. In Georgia, not only did the governor issue an executive order overriding cities who instituted mask policies stronger than his, he filed a lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the members of the City Council over that city's order.
In an interview Sunday with Fox News' Chris Wallace, Trump said he's "a believer in masks" but is leaving it up to governors to decide.
“Everybody who is saying don’t wear a mask – all of sudden everybody’s got to wear a mask, and as you know masks cause problems, too,” Trump said. “With that being said, I’m a believer in masks. I think masks are good.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said last week that the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. could be brought under control in 4-to-8 weeks if mask use was universal.