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Trump Dons a Mask and Says It’s Patriotic



Black and white image of President Donald Trump wearing a mask
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Donald Trump has yet to explain why he abandoned his personal practice of not wearing a face mask, but now that he has, the president wants everyone to know it.

Monday, Trump tweeted a black-and-white image of himself with a mask on that likely was taken July 11 during his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“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. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!” Trump said in the tweet.

Trump Mocked Biden for Wearing a Mask

Trump’s reluctance to follow the advice of medical experts and wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic has political observers wondering what caused him to change his mind.

After all, Trump mocked presidential challenger Joe Biden earlier this year for wearing a mask.

And Trump famously said in April about mask-wearing: “… sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk … I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens. I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself. Maybe I’ll change my mind.”

Finally, Trump has said that he didn’t need to wear a mask because he and those around him are tested frequently for COVID-19.

Protesters, nearly all without masks, rally in support of President Donald Trump and of recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday, July 18, 2020, in northeast Fresno. (GV Wire File)

Polls Show Biden Leading Trump

Perhaps advisers convinced him that it was important to model responsible behavior with America’s coronavirus death toll surpassing 141,000 and the economy reeling under the pandemic’s immense weight.

Or perhaps the latest polls inspired Trump to chart a new course.

The latest RealClear Politics average of major presidential polls shows Biden leading Trump by 8.6 percentage points nationally. Biden holds a double-digit lead in several polls conducted this month. And, the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll indicates that voters prefer Biden over Trump, 54%-34%, to handle COVID-19.

Whatever the president’s motivation, he’s removed the steam from one of the big culture war debates by indirectly saying it’s patriotic to wear a mask.


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email