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The Daily Beast

Trump’s COVID Task Force Concedes They’ll Never Get Trumpers to Wear Masks

As President Donald Trump received treatment for the coronavirus at Walter Reed Medical Center last week, he and his aides worked on the stagecraft for his big return home. It needed to be showy and it would require television networks to have their cameras pointed at the White House during the beginning of their primetime shows.Disembarking from Marine One, Trump walked across the lawn, climbed two flights of stairs to the balcony of the residence, looked directly at the cameras and removed his mask. It was as overly dramatic as it was medically dangerous. For the White House the goal was simple: Put Trump on national television to underscore that the president, despite being infected with a deadly virus, was strong enough not to wear a mask. For scientists, doctors, and even those who work on the president’s response to the pandemic, it was a calamity.Trump’s infection with COVID had presented an opportunity for him to personally change his behavior and, with it, encourage his followers to do the same. That he didn’t was viewed as the final nail in the coffin for attempts to convince skeptical Americans that masks were invaluable in stopping the deadly disease’s spread.“That’s when I realized that the time to convince Americans to take all these health precautions seriously in order to prevent the spread was totally over,” said one senior health official who works with the White House’s coronavirus task force.The White House Barred CDC From Making Masks Mandatory on Public Transportation: NYTSince the early days of COVID, the Trump administration has not only resisted mask-wearing but actively portrayed it as a form of partisan virtue signaling. To keep your face uncovered, the thinking went, was to show support