Donald Trump claims he's a "believer in masks," but refuses to issue a national mandate requiring Americans to wear face coverings. The president explained his position during an hour-long Fox News interview, set to premiere this Sunday.
"I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don't believe in that, no," Trump said when asked about the proposed mandate, as reported by CNN.
The interview took place as the nation continues to shatter its record for new coronavirus cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading expert on infectious diseases, has pleaded with state and city officials "to be as forceful as possible in getting your citizenry to wear masks," as they are an important part of physical distancing.
CDC Director Robert Redfield has made similar recommendations, claiming: "If all of us would put on a face covering now for the next four to six weeks, we could drive this epidemic to the ground."
Though Trump has sported a mask on several occasions, he told Fox News he wasn't fully convinced on the efficacy of wearing them.
"I don't agree with the statement that if everybody wear a mask everything disappears," POTUS said, before pointing to experts' initial claims that masks wouldn't prevent COVID-19 infections. "Dr. Fauci said don't wear a mask, our Surgeon General, terrific guy, said don't wear a mask. Everybody was saying don't wear a mask. All of a sudden everybody's got to wear a mask, and as you know, masks cause problems too, with that being said, I'm a believer in masks. I think masks are good."