New york, Apr 4: US President Donald Trump announced new federal guidelines Friday recommending that Americans wear face coverings when in public to help fight the spread of the new coronavirus. The president immediately said he had no intention of following that advice himself, saying, “I’m choosing not to do it.”
The new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people, especially in areas hit hard by the spread of the coronavirus, to use rudimentary coverings like T-shirts, bandannas and non-medical masks to cover their faces while outdoors.
The president exempted himself from his administration’s own guidelines, saying he could not envision himself covering his face while sitting in the Oval Office greeting world leaders.
“It’s a recommendation, they recommend it,” Trump said. “I just don’t want to wear one myself.”
The new guidance, announced as states are bracing for critical shortfalls like those that other parts of the world have experienced, raises concern that it could cause a sudden run on masks.
Trump and other administration officials sought to minimize any burden by stressing the recommendations did not amount to requirements and that a variety of homemade coverings were acceptable. Federal officials said that surgical masks and N95 respirator masks should be left for those on the front lines of fighting the spread of the infection.
Friday’s announcement capped an evolution in guidance from the White House that officials acknowledged has at times been inconsistent and confusing, with the administration insisting over the last month that masks were not necessary or even helpful.
“I want to unpack the evolution of our guidance on masks because it has been confusing to the American people,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Friday.