With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to wreak havoc across the country, a number of prominent Republicans and conservative media members have changed their tune on wearing face coverings, and some are encouraging President Trump to start setting an example.
On Monday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people. Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter. “
Steve Doocy, another one of Trump’s favorite correspondents and the co-host of Fox & Friends, said Tuesday morning, “I think that if the president wore one, it would just set a good example. He’d be a good role model.”
Doocy said he believes Trump donning a mask would be a “powerful symbol,” and added, “I don’t see any downside to the president wearing a mask in public.”
Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California was a guest on Tuesday’s edition of Fox & Friends and agreed with Doocy’s assessment.
“Wearing the mask is the best opportunity for us to keep this economy open, keep us working, keep us safe and help us as we build toward that vaccine,” McCarthy said.
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., joined the chorus on Tuesday, telling Fox Business, “I don’t think that it’s too complicated to wear a mask or wash your hands and follow basic hygiene protocols.”
Despite a fresh surge of Covid-19 infections in many regions of the country, and in spite of his own administration’s health experts’ recommendations, President Trump has steadfastly refused to put on a mask. In fact, late last month, Trump seemingly mocked presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden for wearing a face-covering in public, and suggested a news reporter was wearing a mask to be “politically correct.” Several top Democratic officials, including Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have loudly called for the president to issue a nationwide mask mandate. Over the weekend, Pelosi said a national directive on face coverings is “long overdue” and that “the President should be an example—real men wear masks. Be an example to the country and wear the mask.” Last week, Biden said that if he’s elected president in November, he’ll attempt to use federal power to require all Americans to wear masks in public places.
Goldman Sachs research suggests that a national mask mandate would reduce new coronavirus infections, which consequently might prevent a 5% GDP loss caused by additional lockdown measures. Goldman’s analysts found that a federal mask mandate would “meaningfully” increase mask usage by up to 15%.
$1 trillion: Without a nationwide mask mandate, economic damage inflicted by future lockdowns could trim up to $1 trillion off the U.S.GDP, according to Goldman’s analysts.
“‘MAGA’ should now stand for ‘Masks Are Great Again,'” said Steve Doocy.