President Donald Trump said he wont follow new recommendations from federal officials for wearing masks, emphasizing that wearing a mask is up to each person.
“With the masks, its going to be, really, a voluntary thing. You can do it. You dont have to do it. Im choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it, and thats OK,” Trump said at a press conference in Washington on Friday night, where officials announced the guidelines.
“It may be good. Probably will. Theyre making a recommendation. Its only a recommendation. Its voluntary,” he added.
A slew of other countries—and some states and cities—recommended or mandated the use of masks when people leave their homes before the federal advisory. Federal officials cited seven studies published in recent weeks showing people infected with the the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, but who arent showing symptoms can transmit the virus to others.
The White House said earlier Friday that anyone expected to be near Trump or Vice President Mike Pence will be given a rapid test that can detect the virus even in people who arent showing symptoms.
The new recommendations say people should wear “cloth face coverings” in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to main, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. Officials are asking Americans to not use surgical masks or N95 respirators in a bid to reserve them for frontline workers such as doctors and police officers.