The Corner

White House

Trump’s Foolhardy Resistance to Masks

President Donald Trump wears a mask due to the coronavirus disease, Clyde, Ohio, August 6, 2020. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Jim posted the other day on the differing messages, or at least tone, on masks from President Trump and the head of the CDC, Robert Redfield. Trump subsequently took public swipes at Redfield. 

Trump never quite comes out and says he hates masks, and his advisers downplay his opposition, but he’s obviously not an enthusiast. This is foolhardy for two reasons:

1) Masks are the best tool we have at the moment, and they are certainly preferable to lockdowns. Maybe we will eventually learn that masks aren’t as effective as we currently think, but the latest evidence on how the virus spreads — I found this piece really helpful — supports their importance. The president shouldn’t be out there fostering doubts about them.

2) One reason that Trump’s numbers are so poor on his handling of the coronavirus is the understandable sense that he has downplayed it throughout and has too cavalierly dismissed the advice of experts. Public spats with his CDC director play into these real vulnerabilities that could help make him a one-term president.

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