After long resisting a facemask, US President Donald Trump finally wore one during a visit to a military hospital on Saturday, the first time the president has been seen in public with the type of facial covering recommended by health officials and experts across the world as a precaution against spreading or becoming infected by the novel coronavirus.
Trump flew by helicopter to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Washington to meet wounded service members and health care providers caring for COVID-19 patients.
As he left the White House, he told reporters: “When you're in a hospital, especially ... I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask."
The president has been a latecomer to wearing a mask during the pandemic, which has raged across the U.S. since March and infected more than 3.2 million and killed at least 134,000 -- something several social media users pointed out when they saw Trump wearing a safety covering over his face.
There was, however, a section of Twitterati that appreciated the fact that the US President finally understood the gravity of the situation.
Donald Trump is pictured wearing a mask as he visits Walter Reed. Trump should have been wearing one when the pandemic started—4 months ago! pic.twitter.com/wDIw3HGin5— Arctic Friend (@FriendEden100) July 11, 2020
Retweet if you’ve been wearing a mask longer than Donald Trump has.— United for the People (@people4kam) July 11, 2020
I’m not going to mock Donald Trump for finally wearing a mask because I’m glad he’s actually doing it, but anyone who thinks he wore a mask in public because he cares about setting an example and saving lives is delusional. He’s doing it because he’s losing and he knows it.— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) July 11, 2020
For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, the White House press corps got a glimpse of President #DonaldTrump wearing a mask. pic.twitter.com/kRer8HCcjz— Jeyaram Anojan (@AnojanJeyaram) July 12, 2020
There’s always a first, Brad. It’s certainly a much better look. Shame it took 3.3 million US COVID cases and 137k deaths for @realDonaldTrump to come to his senses and wear a mask. #MakeAmericaSafeAgain https://t.co/gsH7oiwPbe— Joseph A. Bondy (@josephabondy) July 12, 2020
Don't want to see pictures of @realDonaldTrump wearing a mask congratulating him like he won a participation trophy. 130,000+ dead Americans. Could have been prevented months ago with a real pandemic plan.— Alex Greven✊🏿👍🏾😘🌲🌊🌊🌊 (@Alex_Greven) July 12, 2020
(With AP inputs)