The president of the United States doesn’t want to play along with his election rival.
If you think that the president of the United States is being judged by his opponents for withdrawing from the Treaty on Open Skies, his aggressiveness toward those protesting the murder of George Floyd outside the White House, or his excessive “spinelessness” regarding China, then you are seriously mistaken. These days he is actually being bullied for blatantly not wearing a face mask and effectively defying not just his opponents in the upcoming November presidential election, but also his medical advisers.
The mysterious, crown-shaped virus has now affected the whole world, but it has hit the United States particularly hard: More than 100,000 dead, just under 2 million infected, a shortage of basic medical supplies and of virologists to treat the sick. And now people across the whole world – from Africa to New Zealand – are wearing protective face masks. (The question is whether they actually help or whether they just create the illusion of being protected from the disease.) But the U.S. president couldn’t give two hoots about all these mask-wearing show-offs. So, why is this happening?
As the president of the United States has himself repeatedly pointed out, for him to wear a mask is to directly participate in the global psychosis known as the “coronavirus invasion,” to submissively follow the recommendations of his most hated World Health Organization and, last but not least, to involuntarily play along with his opponents in the upcoming elections, the Democrats. In this respect, Trump (arguably just like the leader of any other country, since the coronavirus crisis is a global phenomenon) is simultaneously facing both a medical and a political challenge on the mask front.
It appears that the White House doctors, as well as the president’s two advisers in the fight against the virus, recommend wearing protective face masks. However, in trying to avoid the president’s wrath (which has already surfaced multiple times in front of journalists), they aren’t really insisting on it. And if you can get away with not wearing a mask and still pass regular tests for the coronavirus, then that’s exactly what Trump is going to do.
I might add that his wife, Melania, and his youngest son were at one time wearing face masks – at least in public – but then they also stopped. On Memorial Day, both Donald and Melania attended a celebration 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) from Washington in the city of Baltimore, where a stay-at-home order has been in place for more than two months. (By the way, the U.S. Capital is keeping all severe antivirus restrictions in place until June 8.)
The mayor of Baltimore scolded Trump for violating the lockdown rules and blatantly not wearing a face mask, despite the fact that he is the head of state. Only the mayor couldn’t do anything about it: He doesn’t have the authority to prevent the maskless president of the country and his wife from coming into his jurisdiction. Trump once again reassured everyone that he has not been infected, that he gets tested for the coronavirus every day, and that he doesn’t see any point in wearing a mask.
At the same time, his current main political rival, Joseph Biden, also joined by his wife, is appearing everywhere in front of cameras in a dramatic black face mask and demanding that all of his close advisers wear one. As journalists have noted, either the former vice president is pronouncing many words through his mask in such a way that nobody can understand him, or he is experiencing clear discomfort when speaking through the material. (Simply put – he can hardly breathe.)
What’s interesting is that, as soon as people started to ask about the mask and whether it helped protect against the coronavirus, Biden went in for the attack: Apparently, there is a very bad president in charge of the White House right now; he is doing everything wrong, harming America, and even defiantly not wearing a protective face mask. Whereas he and his wife, Biden emphasized, are following all the World Health Organization recommendations and those of their medical advisers. This is supposedly why in Novembe, voters should vote for someone who is doing everything right in life with respect to the recommendations of specialists and to caring about the lives and health of ordinary U.S. citizens.
It’s not surprising that the president’s critics are not simply mentioning his reluctance to wear a protective mask against the coronavirus, but they are also increasingly focusing on the fact that he is doing it in a blatant and defiant manner and, in doing so, it seems like he is undermining the prestige of the well-respected doctors in America who are repeatedly insisting that people follow the rules with regard to wearing face masks.
In response, Trump has remarked that the population sees him in front of the cameras every day looking healthy, full of strength and without a mask, gloves, biosafety suit or any similar things. Therefore, people are confident that the president is fully in control of the situation in the country, rather than the doctors, the virologists and those whose job it is to treat the sick and not to scare the population by putting the president of the country, who is protected from all sides, in a mask.
By the way, Trump is still personally interested in whether U.S. citizens are being provided with face masks. (He isn’t talking at all about gloves, as they are being given out in many shops in Washington for free but are no longer required.) At one time, they weren’t available at all – not for sale, not for free. But then a shipment arrived from China, and their own companies picked up the production of masks in a range of styles and colors. As a result, everyone who considers the masks to be necessary is wearing them, particularly when going into shops, but not when engaging in sports, going for a walk or jogging.
The American president has promised that if such a need arises, then he would put a mask on. (For example, it’s said that he did wear a mask during a recent visit to a poultry processing plant, but this was primarily so that he didn’t choke on the very unpleasant smell inside the production facility, and the idling media correspondents didn’t manage to get a shot of the president in the mask.) And if necessary, he would also wear one during a press conference at the White House. But so far nothing of the sort has happened. And considering that in a week’s time ,Washington is to begin removing the most severe lockdown restrictions, it won’t come to that at all.