Donald Trump finally wears mask in public: Coronavirus

US President Donald Trump has worn a mask in public for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The president was visiting the Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington, where he met wounded soldiers and health care workers.

“I’ve never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place,” he said as he left the White House.

He has previously said that he would not wear a mask and mocked Democratic rival Joe Biden for doing so.

But on Saturday he said: “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 tables, I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask.”

What has Trump previously said about masks?

When the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in April began recommending people wear masks or cloth coverings in public to help stop the spread of the virus, Mr Trump told reporters he would not follow the practice.

“I don’t think I’m going to be doing it,” he said back then. “Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I just don’t see it.”

But Mr Trump has repeatedly emphasised that choosing to follow the official health guidance around masks is a personal decision.

Last month, he told the Wall Street Journal that some people only wore masks as a political statement against him.

In May, during a visit to a factory in Michigan, he told reporters he took off a facial covering before facing the cameras because he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it”.

The White House has defended the president’s choice by saying everyone in contact with him is tested frequently for coronavirus, and so is Mr Trump himself.

The president’s daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, has also been spotted wearing a mask in public.

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