Nancy Pelosi: Trump Wearing A Mask Is ‘An Admission’ Measure Works To Stop Spread Of Coronavirus
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joined a chorus of Democrats praising President Donald Trump for wearing a mask on a visit to Walter Reed Army Hospital Saturday, calling the effort an “admission” that masks work to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Speaking to CNN’s Dana Bash on the network’s “State of the Union,” Sunday, Pelosi used the event to criticize the president for failing to recognize the utility of mask-wearing until months into the pandemic.
“I’m so glad that he obeyed the rules of the Walter Reed. You can’t go see our veterans who are there without wearing a mask. Now, he’s crossed a bridge,” Pelosi said.
She added, “That’s an admission that if you’re going to see our soldiers, you have to wear a mask. If you’re going to be with our children, you have to wear a mask. If we want to stop the spread of the coronavirus, you have to wear a mask.”
Pelosi and other Democrats have been chastising those who fail to wear a mask as “right-wing” dissenters from a clear virus prevention policy and have used the measure — which only became part of serious efforts to control the virus in May, months after the pandemic began — as a way of demonstrating that their political opponents lack seriousness in their approach to the coronavirus.
Pelosi told CNN that she hoped the president’s actions Saturday would force Republicans to reconsider their stance on masking.
“So hopefully by his example, he will change his attitude, which will be helpful in stopping the spread of the coronavirus,” she said.
Pelosi, of course, is just the latest in a string of left-leaning political figures to issue backhanded praise for the president. Joe Biden’s used the Walter Reed event to attack the president Saturday night.
“Donald Trump spent months ignoring the advice of medical experts and politicizing wearing a mask, one of the most important things we can do to prevent the spread of the virus,” Andrew Bates said in a statement to media.
The president had, until Saturday, largely refused to wear a mask in public, despite reported “pleading” from his aides, according to CNN.
“Even after the federal government recommended Americans wear masks in places where social distancing is impossible, Trump declared he was unlikely to ever wear one himself. And even as some of his aides gently encouraged him to be seen following his own government’s advice, Trump insisted wearing a mask would make him appear weak and give off the impression that he wasn’t controlling the pandemic,” the network noted.
But as many Americans have pointed out, directives on masking have changed considerably since the early days of the pandemic, when many of the country’s most vocal experts weighed on in the issue against the idea of covering up. Both the United States Surgeon General and Dr. Anthony Fauci, a respected member of the president’s coronavirus task force, initially said that masks were not required to prevent the spread of the virus and cautioned against purchasing masks.
Since then, the government’s directives have changed considerably, with the Surgeon General and others admitting that early recommendations against masking were designed to preserve stores of personal protective equipment for individuals on the front lines of fighting the virus.