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How Trump gets away with not wearing face masks despite being terrified of COVID-19

Published Jun 28th, 2020 9:02AM EDT
Coronavirus Update
Image: Sue Ogrocki/AP/Shutterstock

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  • Face masks can protect you and your loved ones from the novel coronavirus, but many people choose not to wear them.
  • President Trump’s decision not to use a face mask seems to have convinced other people to take a strong stance against the basic protective equipment.
  • A new report explains the massive safety apparatus the White House employs to reduce the President’s risk of infection. Trump refuses to wear face masks in public, but he’s supposedly terrified of getting COVID-19 himself.

Donald Trump still refuses to be seen wearing face masks in public, even though pretty much every conceivable authority recommends face coverings when people go out. Members of his administration agree that face masks are essential in attempting to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, including the White House’s coronavirus task force and high-ranking Republicans. Trump isn’t leading by example, and that may explain why so many people resist face masks. Face masks are the last thing that should be politicized, however. They’re life-saving tools that work in a variety of situations, including the current health crisis. It’s no wonder that everyone who enters an operating room wears a face mask. You wouldn’t want your surgeon to breathe directly on you while operating. The same principle should be applied to the novel coronavirus. It might not be open-heart surgery, but a mask can protect you from the air other people breathe and prevent infection. In turn, you’ll save others by wearing a face mask when in public. Remember, as much as 40% of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic, so you could be spreading the disease right now.

The last thing you should do is follow Trump’s lead and not wear a mask. That’s because he’s in a position where he can defy face masks without worrying as much about getting COVID-19, but you absolutely can’t. Trump is reportedly terrified of being infected, and safety measures have been ramped up in recent weeks just as several US states have seen massive surges new COVID-19 cases.

Trump has voiced “escalating concern” about the optics of him contracting the illness, CNN reports. The President insisted on steps to protect himself even as he keeps dismissing face masks.

The report explains that when Trump travels to locations where the virus is surging, the venue is inspected thoroughly beforehand by security and medical teams. People familiar with the arrangements said bathrooms for the President’s use are scrubbed and sanitized. The staff keeps a close account of the people Trump interacts with, so they can be tested. White House staffers who are around him get tested regularly, even though the White House wants to dismiss temperature checks and face mask requirements to project the image that the country is moving on.

This past week brought new stats records for the US, where outbreaks in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California are mostly responsible for the significant increase in numbers. The White House coronavirus task force delivered its first press briefing in months on Friday, although Trump didn’t join.

The president is looking to move past the US epidemic even though the spread is hardly under control. At the same time, the protective bubble around him has gotten thicker, as CNN explains. The precautions come from Trump’s insistence that he not contract the disease. He’s worried about how a sick President would affect the country’s view of him and his ability to handle the pandemic.

Trump was reportedly upset last month when he learned that one of his military valets who handles his food was infected, wondering how someone with such intimate access to him could have contracted the virus. He then appeared to be cautious around people he didn’t know very well, the report notes. Trump also said at the time that he started taking a course of hydroxychloroquine, even though the drug can’t protect against infection or cure COVID-19.

When someone comes near Trump, that person gets a coronavirus test. Most recently, that included Polish President Andrej Duda and his entire delegation, as well as the US officials who attended the meeting.

So far, these increasingly elaborate efforts to prevent Trump from contracting the disease have worked. And such efforts are definitely necessary for this particular type of job. Even still, people close to him can get sick. Several campaign aides and US Secret Service personnel were infected at last week’s rally in Tulsa.

Trump’s decision to avoid face masks while in public is enabled by a massive safety apparatus that already reduces his risk of infection tremendously. Regular people who choose not to wear a mask just because the President doesn’t like them do not have the same luxuries. Wear a mask anytime you leave your house, and maintain your distance from other people whenever possible.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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