Trump still refusing to wear a mask to keep the press from saying 'I told you so': report
Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Trump has said publicly that he believes mask-wearing is a "personal choice" and it doesn't sound like his stance has changed in the slightest since becoming ill with COVID-19 directly.


“I think people should wear a mask if they can, if they feel they, they should. But I don't think it should be a mandatory policy," Trump has said.

The Daily Beast reported Sunday that "two people who’ve spoken to Trump in the days since he tested positive for the virus say that he had not mentioned any desire to change his public posture on mask-wearing, or that he flatly stated he would continue wearing a mask sparsely and when he felt like it."

“The president is not humbled by this,” said one of the knowledgeable sources. “It did not sound, based on my conversation with him, that he is going to give the media an ‘I told you so!’ moment this time.”

It's not entirely surprising considering Trump shamelessly bullied his staff for mask-wearing prior to his COVID-19 diagnosis.

“If you stepped into a meeting with the president and you wore a mask when he and the rest of the room were not, you would very likely hear about it from the president himself,” said a Trump administration official who wished to remain anonymous. “It was well-known [in the building] that if you wanted to be taken seriously by the president, you should take his lead on the masks thing… and not be the guy wearing a mask in a gathering with him, as if to say you’re sticking it to [Trump].”

“People don’t want to see the leader of the free world hiding behind a mask; it just sends the wrong message,” said Barry Bennett, a GOP operative and lobbyist who served as a senior Trump adviser during the 2016 campaign. “There are large portions of this country where there were no [COVID-19] hospitalizations this week, there were no deaths this week. It’s not a monolithic experience.”

The Daily Beast asked if Trump himself should start wearing a mask publicly or more regularly. Bennett replied, “He had it, so he’s immune now, so he doesn’t need a mask, right?”