(CBS) – President Trump on Saturday was seen wearing a mask for the first time in public while touring Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Trump has long resisted wearing a face mask despite the recommendations of the White House, but he recently said he’s “all for masks.”
“I think when you’re in a hospital, especially in that particular setting, where you’re talking to a lot of soldiers and people that in some cases just got off the operating table, I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask,” Trump told reporters Saturday. “I’ve never been against masks, but I do believe they have a time and a place.”
Trump wore a navy mask with the presidential seal emblazoned on the side. He was accompanied by senior members of his staff, including chief of staff Mark Meadows, all of whom wore masks.
In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures were difficult to maintain. Trump immediately said he wouldn’t be following their guidance. He later visited a mask factory in May where he was not seen wearing a mask. Trump told reporters that he had worn one earlier.
Some states that were hit hard by the coronavirus early instituted mandates for wearing masks, including New York.
As cases have continued to increase, especially with surges in the South and West, more states have mandated masks, including Texas. Republican Governor Greg Abbott warned Texans on Friday that the state could face another lockdown if people didn’t wear masks.
“The only way that we can keep our businesses open, the only way that we can continue to have a job they need to pay their bill is for everyone to adopt this practice of wearing a face mask,” Abbott said.