Trump Now Supporting Mask Wearing

In a dramatic u-turn on an issue which many feel his handling of has potentially put an end to his chances of re-election, Trump last night conceded that the COVID-19 crisis will “get worse before it gets better”. In a press conference held at the White House, Trump asked US citizens to show “patriotism” by wearing a mask, advising that the protective wear will “have an effect” on helping control the spread of the virus.

Trump’s words might seem a little hard to swallow for many given his previous, vocal opposition to wearing masks and critics have interpreted the president’s worse less as a plea to boost the safety of the nation but instead, likely as the result of pressure from his team to take a more moderate approach given the fresh upward trend in infection rates in the US.

During the briefing, which marked his first covid-19 address for months, Trump said: “We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask.Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact, they’ll have an effect and we need everything we can get.”

Trump Criticised For Lockdown Opposition

Trump has come under a great deal of criticism from across the political divide and among the international community over his handling of the virus. With over 40 states having reported a fresh upward trend in new infections, along with many states reporting new highs in terms of infection numbers, Trump has been accused of letting the nation down.

Trump was a vocal supporter of early easing of lockdowns, even calling for certain states to be “LIBERATED” on Twitter. On the back of those comments, some states saw anti-lockdown protests and early breaking of lockdown measures before restrictions were officially eased. Trump’s own messages regarding the virus have continually stood against those of the US’ leading COVID-19 expert Dr Anthony Faucci whom Trump has publicly berated on more than one occasion.

Whether Trump’s shift in tact will turn out to be too late will become clear in the November elections. Trump’s approval ratings have consistently decreased over the course of the pandemic, exacerbated by his handling of the Black Lives Matter protests and, consequently, his chances of re-election appear to be slimming.

Trump’s Ratings Trending Lower

Trump Makes Dramatic U-Turn on Masks

Source: FiveThirtyEight

Trump’s approval ratings, as derived from an aggregate of all polls, have fallen from highs of almost 46% in April to current lows of 40.3%, their lowest since January 2019. Typically, fears of a republican nominee losing out to a democratic candidate have resulted in lower equities prices over fears of anti-business policies. However, with markets remaining well supported here it means that either, for now traders are looking beyond this issue or that, Trump losing is viewed as a positive thing given his many highly controversial policies which have damaged the economy, such as his trade war with China.

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