Trump Won’t Wear A Face Mask Because He Fears It Will Make Him Look ‘Weak’
President Donald Trump‘s visit to the Honeywell mask-making factory in Arizona last week drew criticism and confusion as photographs showed him not wearing a mask.
Despite the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that all people wear “cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission,” Trump has not been seen wearing one yet.
Trump not wearing mask but goggles at Honeywell facility. Other aides not wearing masks at all. Sign in facility says “face mask required in this area.” pic.twitter.com/Uq7Fr2ioeS
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 5, 2020
In mid-April, when the CDC first announced the guidelines, Trump said he would not follow the recommendation.
“I don’t think I’m going to be doing it. … Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I just don’t see it,” he said.
The day after his visit, on Wednesday, Trump said he wore a mask during the tour, but only “backstage.”
“I had a mask on for a period of time,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “I had it on back … backstage. But they said you didn’t need it, so, I didn’t need it. And by the way, if you noticed, nobody else had it on that was in the group.”
A Honeywell spokesman told CNN that Trump was permitted not to wear a mask, despite workers in the photos being shown wearing masks.
Some believe Trump’s reluctance to wear a mask relates to his April comment that strong leaders would be portrayed as weak by wearing a mask.
“Remember that Trump views his entire presidency through the lens of television — mostly reality TV and cable news,” wrote CNN’s Chris Cillizza. “He is very, very focused on how he is portrayed and perceived. And he wants the image that the public gets of him to be that of a strong and fearless leader.”