Masks have become somewhat of a sticking point for Trump in recent weeks.
In the last month, most states have passed legislation mandating that people wear masks when they’re outside, as a protective measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
Mike Pence received a lot of criticism when he went to a hospital – and spoke to people who were sick – without one on, while Trump has made several public appearances without one at all.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife were wearing black masks when they went to a memorial day service on Tuesday, while Trump and his wife Melania did not (despite going to several more events). Trump then retweeted a tweet that seemed to be making fun of Biden for doing so on Tuesday, which promoted Reuters reporter Jeff Mason to ask him about it.
Before Mason asked the question, Trump asked him to take off his black face mask, saying that he couldn’t hear him.
Mason said he would just speak louder, and Trump said:
I see that you want to be politically correct.
Later, Trump did clarify that he wasn’t making fun of Biden but that he was curious about why Biden was covering his face while standing outside (Trump hasn’t gotten the memo that this is the situation in which you should definitely cover your face). He described it as ‘very unusual’.
Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s press secretary, had asked the same day why Biden wasn’t wearing a mask when he was sitting at home with his wife in his basement (which is not the situation in which to be wearing that kind of mask).
Trump has been criticised for not wearing a mask when wearing public appearances, particularly last week when he toured a 3M factory in Michigan. He later told reporters:
I did wear one. I wore one on in this back area.But I didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.
Masks have become a topic of great debate in the US in particular, with many right wing and conservative people believing that it infringes on their freedoms.