Kellyanne Conway conceded that Americans weren’t wearing masks as much as they should be to combat the spread of COVID-19, but made it clear she didn’t think it was President Trump’s job to be the mask police.
‘People are not wearing masks. And I don’t think they’re not wearing masks because the president of the United States is not wearing a mask. They’re not wearing a mask because nobody’s saying put the mask on,’ Conway said outside the White House Wednesday.
That ‘nobody,’ in her mind, was state and local officials, as she said, ‘it’s up to the local folks to enforce it.’
Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday outside the White House that Americans aren’t wearing masks not because President Trump isn’t wearing one but because ‘nobody’s saying put the mask on’
President Trump, photographed during an appearance in the briefing room Friday, has been resistant to mask-wearing, though said Wednesday that he’d put one on in close confines, though said he didn’t support a federal mandate
‘You want to have it both ways, the governors said the president can’t tell us when to reopen, we get to decide that. OK, then they should tell their local officials to implore and then enforce mask-wearing,’ Conway suggested.
‘Somehow we want the president of the United States to run around to every local community,’ she said.
Conway’s comments came as U.S. cases of coronavirus were topping 50,000 a day.
A number of Republican senators have responded to the spike by suggesting that Trump don a mask as he’s previously politicized the issue.
Trump’s resistance against mask-wearing has been well-documented.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first put out its advisory that Americans should wear facial coverings, Trump expressed then it wasn’t for him.
‘Well, I just don’t want to wear one myself,’ he said at an April 3 White House press briefing.
‘I just don’t want to be doing – I don’t know, somehow sitting in the Oval Office behidn the beautiful Resolute Desk – the great Resolute Desk – I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know. Somehow, I don’t see it for myself,’ Trump said. ‘I just – I just don’t. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but this will pass and hopefully it’ll pass very quickly.’
Then the Associated Press reported in May that he believed putting one on would ‘send the wrong message.’ He also said he’d look ridiculous and the visuals would be used in attack ads.
The president has only put a mask on once – and even then wouldn’t model it for reporters – as he visited a Ford Motor Co. plant in Michigan the same month.
‘I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,’ he said then.
And on Memorial Day, he mocked Joe Biden, his Democratic rival, for wearing one to services.
In June, during a sit-down with the Wall Street Journal, Trump politicized the issue further by suggesting that some people wore mask to ‘signal disapproval of him,’ the newspaper said.
On Wednesday, the same day Conway talked to reporters, Trump said he was open to wearing a mask in close confines, but didn’t think a nationwide mask mandate was necessary.
‘I’d have no problem,’ he told Fox Business Network. ‘Actually, I had a mask on, I sort of liked the way I looked, I thought it was OK.’
‘It was a dark, black mask and I thought I looked OK. It looked like the “Lone Ranger,”‘ Trump said.