Trump advises voluntary mask use against coronavirus but will not wear one himself

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The US government is now recommending Americans wear cloth face coverings on a voluntary basis to stem the spread of the coronavirus, President Donald Trump said on Friday (April 3), adding that he himself would not use one.

In a daily briefing with reporters, Trump stressed that the new recommendation should not be seen as replacing social distancing measures considered key to slowing the outbreak, which has now claimed more lives in New York state than the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“With the masks, it’s going to be really a voluntary thing. You can do it, you don’t have to do it. I’m choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it and that’s OK,” Trump said.

When asked about the reasoning behind his decision, Trump cited his high-profile meetings. “As I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens ... I don’t see it for myself, I just don’t,” Trump said.

The decision to promote mask use comes as state governors and hospitals clamor for scarce supplies of medical-grade masks for first responders. It also comes as experts have questioned the administration’s decision not to urge widespread mask use, in contrast to other countries hit by the virus.

Trump said that the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention are not recommending the use of medical-grade masks for most people. Trump added Americans can make cloth masks at home.

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