US coronavirus news: Donald Trump doesn’t want to wear mask. Here’s why
The US President said Americans should use a basic cloth or face mask while stepping out of their homes, not medical- or surgical-grade masks that are used by hospital workers and emergency workers.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged all Americans to wear a mask when they leave their homes amid the rising death toll and positive cases of cornavirus. US President Donald Trump has echoed agency’s advice, but said he himself would not be using a mask.
“With the masks, it is going to be a voluntary thing,” the President said at the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on Friday. “You can do it. You don’t have to do it. I am choosing not to do it. It may be good. It is only a recommendation, voluntary.”
But why Trump doesn’t want to wear a mask?
The reason is that it would interfere with Trump’s ability to meet with foreign presidents, prime ministers and "dictators."
"Somehow sitting in the Oval Office, behind that beautiful Resolute Desk," Trump said, indicating he thought it would be uncomfortable wearing a mask as he met with "presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself."
In the past few days, the mask debate in the US has played out in public and in private. Trump said Americans who choose to comply with the CDC’s recommendation should use a basic cloth or face mask, not medical- or surgical-grade masks that are used by hospital workers and emergency workers.
He also said people must still follow social distancing guidelines, which he called the “safest way to avoid the infection.” The CDC has recommended that Americans wear a basic cloth or fabric masks that can be either purchased online or simply made at home.
The deadly coronavirus has so far claimed over 7,000 lives in the US and infected over 2,70,000 people.
Trump stressed that the new masks guidelines do not replace CDC's guidance on social distancing, including staying at home when possible, standing at least 6 feet apart for a period of time.
He also called for practicing hand hygiene.
Based on the new available data, CDC said the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity--for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing--even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.
With the coronavirus contagion spreading, the White House said that anyone expected to be near Trump or Vice President Mike Pence will be given a rapid COVID-19 test.
The test is expected to be the same quick-action test that Trump took on Thursday. He took the Abbott Laboratories test, which provides results in 15 minutes or less.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said: "Anyone who is expected to be in close proximity to either of them will be administered a COVID-19 test to evaluate for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers status to limit inadvertent transmission."
One of the vexing revelations about the virus is that infected people can spread it without even knowing they have the illness or before symptoms have become evident.
Trump has now been tested twice for the coronavirus and both times tested negative. Pence was also tested and was negative.
The White House has put social distancing measures into place, such as providing more space between seats at events. But there are limits to how much distancing can be done given how relatively small office space is in the West Wing.
Hydroxychloroquine having good results on coronavirus patients: Trump
The President says that decades old malaria-drug Hydroxychloroquine appears to have some good results in the treatment of coronavirus patients.
"We continue to study the effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine and other therapies in the treatment and prevention of the virus and will keep the American people fully informed in our findings," he said.
Trump said that it looked as if Hydroxychloroquine is having some good results.
"It's looking like it (Hydroxychloroquine) is having some good results. I hope that would be a phenomenal thing,” Trump said, days after the US Federal and Drug Administration approved the drug being used in the treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.
The Trump administration has stockpiled millions of doses of Hydroxychloroquine, given the urgency of the situation.
However, Dr Anthony Fauci – the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a top member of the White House Task Force on coronavirus -- has cautioned against arriving at any conclusion right now as tests in this regard are still underway.