Trump says ‘masks are good,’ however doubts nationwide mandate is required as coronavirus instances rise

President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Leah Millis | Reuters

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he’s “all for masks,” but doesn’t think the U.S. needs a national mandate for people to wear them during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t know if you need mandatory,” Trump said when asked in a Fox Business Network interview if he would support a national order for people to wear masks in public.

“You have many places in the country where people stay very long distance,” Trump said.

“But I’m all for masks, I think masks are good,” the president said, adding that he has been seen wearing one in situations where he was in a group of people.

“Usually I’m not in that position,” said Trump, who noted that “everyone gets tested [for Covid-19] before they see me.”

But “I’d have no problem,” Trump said. “I had a mask on, I sort of liked the way i looked.”

A national mask mandate could save lives by helping prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease, according to numerous health experts.

It might also have a financial benefit, according to a Goldman Sachs analyst who found that a mask mandate would substitute for national lockdowns that would otherwise subtract 5% of GDP.

Trump told Fox Business that the U.S. economy is already heading for a “V-shaped” recovery – a sharp decline followed by a sharp gain – touting recent figures such as the month-to-month percentage gains in retail sales.

“I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus,” Trump said. “I think that at some point that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”

But the virus is not disappearing – In fact, cases are surging in numerous parts of the country. Trump’s own White House health advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak is “going to be very disturbing” if it continues on its current trajectory.

“I think we’re going to have a vaccine very soon, too,” Trump added in the interview.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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