Trump says he could see recommending all Americans wear masks in public

Nation/World

President Donald Trump said Monday he could foresee a scenario where all Americans are recommended to wear masks in public to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The idea, which was raised in a road map on combating coronavirus authored by his former Food and Drug Administration head, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, runs counter to the current government directive that masks aren’t necessary for most people.

Trump said that could potentially change, but only for a short period.

“I saw his suggestion on that. We will take a look at it,” the President said during his daily news briefing, saying he hadn’t discussed the idea yet with his task force.

A source close to the coronavirus task force said the idea of asking Americans to wear masks for a period of time during the pandemic is likely to be under “serious discussion.”

The source said part of the issue with the recommendation is the current supply of masks would not meet the ongoing demand. Then, of course, there is the issue of medical professionals who still lack critical personal protective equipment due to supply shortages.

“You don’t want to create a shortage for health care workers,” the source said.

Trump said that if he does offer that recommendation, it would be for “a period of time, not forever.”

“We want our country back,” the President said during the Rose Garden briefing. “We are not going to be wearing masks forever, but it could be for a short period of time after we get back into gear. I could see something like that happening for a period of time.”

“I would hope it would be a very limited period of time,” he said.

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