The AP is running a tather breathless story headlined by NBC as Trump tells allies his wearing a mask would ‘send the wrong message’, make him look ridiculous.
President Donald Trump has been mask averse for weeks.
Within minutes of the CDC announcing its updated mask recommendations last month, the president said, “I don’t think that I’m going to be doing it.”
Trump has told advisers that he believes wearing one would “send the wrong message,” according to one administration and two campaign officials not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations.
The president said doing so would make it seem like he is preoccupied with health instead of focused on reopening the nation’s economy — which his aides believe is the key to his reelection chances in November.
Moreover, Trump, who is known to be especially cognizant of his appearance on television, has also told confidants that he fears he would look ridiculous in a mask and the image would appear in negative ads, according to one of the officials.
“It’s a vanity thing, I guess, with him,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of Trump on MSNBC. “You’d think, as the president of the United States, you would have the confidence to honor the guidance he’s giving the country.”
That’s left those around him unsure of how to proceed.
White House aides say the president hasn’t told them not to wear them, but few do. Some Republican allies have asked Trump’s campaign how it would be viewed by the White House if they were spotted wearing a mask, according to two campaign officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss private conversations.
The decision to wear a mask in public is becoming a political statement — a moment to pick sides in a brewing culture war over containing the coronavirus.
While not yet as loaded as a “Make America Great Again” hat, the mask is increasingly a visual shorthand for a debate pitting those willing to follow health officials’ guidance and cover their faces against those who feel it violates their freedom or buys into a threat they think is overblown.
That resistance is fueled by some of the same people who object to other virus restrictions. The push back has been stoked by Trump — he didn’t wear a mask during a Tuesday appearance at a facility making them — and some other Republicans, who have flouted rules and questioned the value of masks. It’s a development that has worried experts as Americans are increasingly returning to public spaces.
“There’s such a strong culture of individualism that, even if it’s going to help protect them, people don’t want the government telling them what to do,” said Linsey Marr, a Virginia Tech engineering professor with experience in airborne transmission of viruses.
Health officials initially said wearing masks was unnecessary, especially amid a shortage of protective materials. But last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending wearing cloth masks in public to prevent transmitting the virus to others.
There is a lot to unpack in there but let use a story as point of departure. During the early days of World War II, the government sponsored all kinds of recycling drives. Nearly all of the scrap ended up in dumps. It was cheaper to produce new iron and steel (plus the US was blessed with more than ample raw materials) than to recycle used. Collected paper was useless. Collected tires were dumped as you literally can’t recycle old tires into new ones. Aluminum cookware couldn’t be reprocessed into aircraft aluminium…neither could used aluminum foil. So why did the government encourage recycling? Because it let the folks on the home front feel like they were participating in the war even though they were not in uniform.
The mask thing is much the same. A mask doesn’t protect you from anything short of a lung biscuit hitting you in the face. If you walk through the legendary aerosolized spray containing Wuhan, the virus is much smaller than the spaces in your mask. (This gets me to social distancing, scientific studies show that the virus can stay suspended in the air for up to three hours, so what good does a 6-foot separation does, why not go for a three hour separation?).
Your big risk is touching something…like a countertop or an infected face mask…and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth (don’t know about the transmissibility via other orifices). Here is Dr. Anthony Fauci only a month ago on wearing face masks
Masks are bullshit. pic.twitter.com/aw5dyEjkiD
— Mike (@FuctupMike) May 6, 2020
The science behind what Fauci said back then has not changed. What has changed is that wearing a mask has become a symbol. It is virtue signaling. It shows the wearer is committed to wiping out the dreaded Nazis…er…virus. It is the 2020 equivalent of Gerald Ford’s Whip Inflation Now pins.
Now to the points in the article. They are both, at least in my view, true. If Trump wears a face mask it will spawn a thousand jokes, skits, and memes. It will make him look ridiculous and, worse than that, it will not protect him or anyone else. It will definitely damage him politically as wearing or not wearing a mask is rapidly becoming shorthand for where you stand on civil liberties and Constitutional rights and meddling Karens.
It is also a bad example. If things are so bad that you need to wear a face mask to go out, things are too bad to go to work or to school. That is not the message the government should be sending right now, despite the bleatings of the public health fascists who seem to believe that both sickness and death are optional activities. The unified message across government must be that we need to get back to doing what we were doing.
This gets me to my final point. No one with a speck of sense should agree to wear a face mask for any reason other than being forced to do so. I invested in a shemagh. When I wear it I keep my nose above the wrapped cloth. As yet, I’ve not had a single Maryland store deny me entrance. There are other options
Guaranteed to make people stay 6 feet away from you.
The Donald Trump face mask. Now on sale. https://t.co/WVsOfMvaUw
— The Mossad: Espionage at ≥ 2 metres (@TheMossadIL) April 20, 2020
The first sign of a protest movement against this stupidity, I’m joining it. If you want to wear one because you are down with being a virus fighter, fine. Just don’t expect me to join in your sick little fantasy.
You can live your life in fear if you want to but a mask has just about as much use in avoiding Wuhan virus as any other heathen talisman.