Thursday, May 21, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He broke a law requiring mask-wearing in public places to spite the press.

Trump has made no secret of the reason that he refuses to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus: he's afraid people will make fun of him if he does. 

His own CDC has strongly urged Americans to wear masks whenever they are in public spaces. COVID-19 is spread mostly through droplets in the air, and masks make it much harder for the virus to reach its next victim.

Today, he staged a campaign event at a Ford plant converted to making medical equipment. During a tour, he appeared without a mask, in violation of a Michigan emergency order requiring everyone to wear one in indoor public spaces. Asked by reporters about it, he said he didn't want to give the press "the pleasure of seeing it."

He did tell reporters that he wore a mask when they weren't present—something that, perhaps surprisingly, appears to be true. A photo of Trump wearing a mask was leaked by a Democratic member of Congress. (Ford officials had all but demanded he wear one.)

via Rep. Jackie Speier

Trump's feelings on masks appear to be purely about political optics. After a mini-outbreak in the White House, which is perhaps the only workplace in the country that actually has enough tests to do real contact tracing, Trump ordered that all West Wing staff wear masks at work

Trump himself has never been seen wearing a mask in the White House.

So what?

  • The health and safety of the American people is more important than Donald Trump's vanity.
  • It's bad if a president undermines simple things people can do to save lives.