You’d think President Donald Trump had just discovered a medical cure the way his campaign team figuratively fainted at his feet Saturday. But no, he was simply, finally wearing a face mask during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as a COVID-19 safety measure — months after just about everybody else in the world.
Walter Reed requires visitors to wear masks when maintaining a safe social distance isn’t possible, which it wasn’t for Trump.
Jason Miller, Trump campaign senior adviser, crowed in a tweet that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is now “finished” as he posted a photo of a masked president.
It wasn’t clear why. Biden has been wearing a mask pretty much all along. Trump finally wearing a mask now would seem to indicate that he’s been wrong all along not to wear one.
In a not particularly creative echo of Miller, Boris Epshteyn — “strategic adviser for coalition” to the Trump campaign — piped up: “Goodnight, Joe Biden.” Ouch.
Campaign manager Brad Parscale gushed, inexplicably, “America First” and posted a closeup of the same Trump photo on Twitter.
Campaign Press Communications Director Erin Perrine interjected, too. She retweeted a comment about Trump looking “badass” in a mask from a New York Post reporter.
In her own tweet, Perrine said: “Rocking a mask like a boss.”
The Trump team tweets may have been part of a strategy to give the president lots of positive feedback to reward the reluctant president for wearing a mask. Aides and Republican lawmakers reportedly have been pleading with him for weeks to wear a mask as COVID-19 is skyrocketing to new levels in the U.S. and has killed nearly 135,000 people across the country.
In May, voters were ordered to remove their masks before a roundtable in Iowa with Vice President Mike Pence. That was just hours after Pence had been exposed to an aide who had just tested positive for COVID-19. One of those attending that roundtable, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, tested positive last week after battling symptoms of COVID-19.
Oklahoma had two record spikes this week in daily coronavirus cases, just three weeks after Trump invited some 6,000 people to an indoor campaign rally in Tulsa. He didn’t wear a mask, nor did he encourage others to do so.
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