The US President has so far resisted wearing a face mask. However on Monday, he took to Twitter to claim that wearing masks is ‘patriotic’.

On June 12, Donald Trump was seen in public wearing a face mask for the first time. (Photo: AP)

President Donald Trump changed his tune in favor of face masks as a tool to combat the coronavirus in the United States.

The virus has infected more than 14.6 million people and killed over 600,000 of them since it first emerged in China, with fresh alarm being sounded over its accelerating spread in Africa.

And despite rising hopes for two vaccine candidates, there are few options available to combat the spread of COVID-19, though they do include face masks — which Trump and his political allies refused to encourage for months.

But he changed direction on Monday, tweeting a photo of himself wearing a mask with the message: “We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance.”

“There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!”
US authorities are struggling to handle the crisis as infections surge towards four million, with more than 140,000 deaths, and Trump has been slammed for his management of the crisis.

Earlier on June 12, the President wore a mask in public for the first time during a visit to a military hospital.

He had then told reporters: “When you’re in a hospital, especially … I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask.”

The president is scrambling to respond to public anger just over 100 days from the November election, with the human toll rising and the US economy devastated.

Tens of millions of Americans have been left jobless, and the extra unemployment benefits keeping some from poverty are set to expire at the end of July.

“I’m still struggling to pay the bills and I’m still looking for a job,” said Diana Yitbarek, 44, who has been unemployed since April.
“And nowadays it’s hard to find a job because everything is closed.”

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