“I expect to be wearing a mask when I go into Walter Reed. You’re in a hospital setting, I think it’s a very appropriate thing,” the president told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in a live phone interview Thursday.
“I have no problem with a mask,” he added, according to Politico. “It’s fine to wear a mask if it makes you feel comfortable.”
The commander-in-chief will visit the military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday to meet combat vets and health-care workers who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, the news outlet reported.
Trump’s comments are in stark contrast to his unmasked appearances during public events as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges the use of face coverings to help prevent the spread of the bug.
Amid a recent pushback from prominent Republican lawmakers, the president eased up on his stance and said he’s “all for masks. I think masks are good.”
On Thursday, Trump suggested that covering up shouldn’t be necessary in certain settings, including where testing is widely available or where social distancing is possible.
But he said he was concerned about spreading germs to patients at the medical center.
“I don’t want to spread anything. And a lot of it is you spreading, not them spreading,” he told Hannity. “And I don’t want to cause a problem for anybody.”