CDC Recommends Masks, But Trump Says He Won't Wear One Because He Meets 'Presidents, Prime Ministers, Dictators'

Although the CDC recommended that the American public begins voluntarily wearing face coverings in some public settings to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the U.S., President Donald Trump said Friday during the coronavirus task force meeting that he would not be wearing one because of the requirements of his job.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Friday that individuals who are asymptomatic can still transmit the virus to others and that "simple cloth coverings" worn over the face can, along with social distancing measures, help to curb community spread.

Trump, however, said the recommendation was advice that he would not be taking.

"I just don't want to wear one myself," Trump told reporters. "It's a recommendation, they recommend it. I'm feeling good."

"Somehow, sitting in the Oval Office behind that 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," Trump continued. "Somehow, I don't see it for myself. I just don't."

"Maybe I'll change my mind," Trump added. "But this will pass and hopefully it will pass very quickly."

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President Donald Trump said he would not be following the CDC's recommendation of wearing a face covering to prevent the spread of coronavirus during a briefing on Friday. Win McNamee/Getty

CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public areas where social distancing could be hard to maintain, such as pharmacies and grocery stores. Personal protective equipment [PPE] such as N95 respirators are not involved in the CDC's recommendation because they "must be reserved for health care workers," Surgeon General Adams said.

Personal protective equipment [PPE] such as N95 respirators are not involved in the CDC's recommendation because they "must be reserved for health care workers," Adams said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that individuals wear face masks if taking care of a person suspected of carrying coronavirus or for persons who are exhibiting symptoms of the virus, such as coughing or sneezing.

Newsweek reached out to the WHO for comment.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recommended on Wednesday that residents of his city begin wearing face masks in public before the CDC announced its recommendation.

"Early data suggests many who are infected are not symptomatic, which is why we are recommending you use cloth face coverings plus physical distancing for essential activities," Garcetti tweeted. "Do not use surgical and N95 masks, which are reserved for first responders and medical workers."

"This is not an excuse to get closer," Garcetti said at a Thursday press conference. "This isn't an excuse to suddenly all go out. You need to stay at home. But when you have to go out, we're recommending that we use non-medical grade masks or facial coverings."

Recent data indicated 12,267 total positive confirmed cases of coronavirus in California.

CDC Recommends Masks, But Trump Says He Won't Wear One Because He Meets 'Presidents, Prime Ministers, Dictators' | U.S.