Former Trump Doctor Who Just Won Texas GOP Nomination Says Masks Are 'Personal Choice'

President Donald Trump's former physician said that "wearing a mask is a personal choice" Wednesday after winning the Texas Republican primary runoff for Congress.

"I think that wearing a mask is a personal choice, and I don't particularly want my government telling me that I have to wear a mask. And so I think that's a choice that I can make," Dr. Ronnie Jackson, who served as physician to the president under both the Trump and Barack Obama administrations, said during an appearance on Fox News' Fox & Friends.

"We know a lot about this virus now. We know the mortality rate is probably less than 0.1 percent. We know that it doesn't really affect children—if they do get it, they don't get sick. So I think you've got to look at your personal circumstances, you've got to look at your surroundings, you've got to decide if that's right for you," Jackson said.

The retired U.S. Navy veteran also said that he encourages people who want to wear a mask to wear one, adding that he doesn't wear a mask "all that often."

Newsweek reached out to Jackson for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Jackson won the primary runoff in Texas' 13th Congressional District to replace Representative Mac Thornberry, a Republican, who said he would not seek re-election. Trump tweeted out his congratulations to Jackson, saying he will be a "fantastic Congressman."

Congratulations to @RonnyJackson4TX on a big win against a tough and really good opponent. Ronny will be a fantastic Congressman - Will represent the wonderful people of the Great State of Texas, and the USA, very well. Proud of you Ronny!!!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2020

"Congratulations to Ronny Jackson on a big win against a tough and really good opponent. Ronny will be a fantastic Congressman - Will represent the wonderful people of the Great State of Texas, and the USA, very well. Proud of you Ronny!!!" the president tweeted.

Jackson, who ran his campaign emphasizing his relationship to the president, tweeted out an image of him and his wife, Jane Jackson, on a phone call they received from Trump after the primary win.

Jane and I just got off the phone with @realDonaldTrump! It’s official! I am honored to be the Republican nominee for #TX13! I promise I will make you proud! pic.twitter.com/Hr7ZJPfwqu

— Ronny Jackson (@RonnyJackson4TX) July 15, 2020

"Jane and I just got off the phone with [Trump]! It's official! I am honored to be the Republican nominee for [the 13th Congressional District in Texas]! I promise I will make you proud!" Jackson said.

Prior to running for Congress, Jackson was nominated by Trump to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018. Jackson removed his name for consideration after allegations arose claiming he overprescribed medication and drank alcohol on the job.

In a 2018 statement announcing his withdrawal from consideration to head the VA, Jackson said the allegations "baseless and anonymous attacks."

"If they had any merit, I would not have been selected, promoted and entrusted to serve in such a sensitive and important role as physician to three presidents over the past 12 years," Jackson, who also served in former President George W. Bush's White House Medical Unit, said at the time.

Ronny Jackson
Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson on Capitol Hill April 16, 2018. Jackson said he thinks wearing a mask is a "person choice" and that he does not want the government telling him he needs to wear one. Chip Somodevilla/Getty