Trump Blames Biden For Not Instituting U.S. Mask Mandate
|The Huffington Post 16 Sep 2020 at 09:32|
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for an ABC News town hall in Philadelphia on Tuesday where he saida lot of people think the masks are not good.
U.S. President Donald Trump moved to blame his Democratic competitor, former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden , for not instituting a national mask mandate during the coronavirus pandemic.
The claim, made at an ABC News town hall Tuesday with undecided voters in Pennsylvania, is misleading for two reasons: Biden has, in fact, urged all U.S. governors to mandate mask-wearing to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Democratic candidate is also not the president and has no authority to mandate anything. Trump does.
Julie Bart asked the president why he hadnt instituted a national mask mandate during the height of the pandemic and why he had largely refused to wear facial coverings even as the nations top medical officials urged the public to do so.
"Waiters," Trump responds, saying he s seen servers constantly touching their face masks.
Well, I do wear them when I have to and when Im in hospitals and other locations, Trump said. But I will say this. They said at the Democrat convention theyre going to do a national mandate. They never did it, because theyve checked out and they didnt do it. And a good question is, you ask why Joe Biden they said were going to do a national mandate on masks.
Biden addressed the claim just moments after it aired:
To be clear: I am not currently president. But if you chip in now, we can change that in November: https://t.co/eFS4tDfHEx https://t.co/ciqFcIGLHB
The president went on to say a lot of people think the masks are not good and said health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nations top infectious disease expert, were hesitant to push masks during the early days of the pandemic. That claim is misleading as medical officials have since learned much more about COVID-19 and the spread of infection, and as the shortage of medical-grade masks for health professionals has dissipated. Fauci has since urged for universal wearing of masks.
Trump maintained at Tuesdays town hall that his administration had succeeded in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, saying he didnt think he could have done more to prevent the virus that has and infected more than 6.6 million in the U.S.
Could you have done more to stop it? ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked.
I dont think so, Trump replied. I think what I did by closing up the country, I think I saved two, maybe two and a half, maybe more than that lives. I really dont think so. I think we did a very good job.
Addressing claims made to journalist Bob Woodward earlier this year that he had actively downplayed the threat of the coronavirus despite knowing how dangerous it was, Trump said he didnt do that and, in fact, had cast the virus as more serious.
I didnt downplay it, Trump said during the town hall. I actually, in many ways, I up-played it, in terms of action. My action was very strong.
Despite those assertions, the president stood by false claims that COVID-19 would merely go away.
It is going to disappear. Its going to disappear, I still say it, Trump said. Were not going to have studios like this, where you have all of this empty space in between. I want to see people, and you want to see people. I want to see football games. Im pushing very hard for Big Ten, I want to see Big Ten open let the football games let them play sports.