Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier told “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday that it would be a good idea for President Trump to don a mask and “lead by example” as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Dr. Saphier told host Sandra Smith that while the discourse surrounding precautionary and protective measures like mask-wearing has become politicized, it is a known fact that “wearing a mask will decrease the transition of this virus.”
MCCONNELL MAKES APPEAL FOR WEARING MASKS: ‘IT IS ABOUT PROTECTING EVERYONE WE ENCOUNTER’
“Should everybody be wearing a mask? I mean, my recommendation is if you cannot maintain social distancing right now, it would be a good idea to have some sort of mask,” she stated.
“Should the president be wearing a mask?” asked Saphier. “Well, I’m not going to tell him he needs to but, yes, we do like to lead by example.”
Trump has expressed vehement opposition to wearing masks — especially during public appearances. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, he described masks as a “double-edged sword.”
In recent days, Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have urged Americans to wear masks outside their homes if they are unable to follow social distancing guidelines, echoing the administration’s own health experts.
At an event in Dallas Sunday, Pence said that if local and state officials are directing their constituents to wear masks, the administration “[encourages] everyone to wear a mask in the affected areas. And where you can’t maintain social distancing, wearing a mask is just a good idea.”
As the number of new cases in the Northeast — once the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. — have plummeted since their peak in April, hospitalizations are on the rise in the South and West. The pandemic has infected more than 2.6 million Americans and killed more than 128,000 people in the United States so far.
“It is critical that we all take personal responsibility to slow the transmission of COVID and embrace the universal use of face coverings,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield, explained to lawmakers in a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
“I know why the president isn’t wearing a mask,” Saphier said Tuesday. “He is being tested constantly. Those … around him are [being] tested. So, therefore, there is a logical reason why he is not wearing a mask.
“But again, it’s just about what the message is we’re trying to give to the American people,” she contined. “So, unless he’s going to continue to explain why he’s not wearing a mask, then I don’t think it’s such a bad idea just for him to wear a mask so that there are some people who would follow in his lead.
“Because as we’re seeing, Sandra, we have increased viral transmission in the community,” the Memorial Sloan Kettering physician went on. “Lots [of it is] because of younger generations going out, having Happy Hours, and being close-knit together in these indoor spaces. And, unfortunately, Sandra, people are not willing to give up their Happy Hour. They’d rather us give up our medical care.”
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“That’s why we’re seeing hospitals being overrun now and they’re starting to cancel elective procedures again,” she concluded. “We have to do what we can to slow the spread of this virus so we aren’t costing unnecessary lives. Because people are dying, not just from COVID-19 but people are dying because they’re not going and getting their mammograms or they’re not going to the hospital because they’re having a heart attack.”