By Helene Fung
US President Donald Trump said during a television interview that he will not consider making a national mandate for people to wear masks, despite his own advisor, infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci urging political leaders “to be as forceful as possible in getting your citizenry to wear masks”.
During the interview, Mr Trump was asked about the possibility of a mask mandate, and he responded: “No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that.”
Mr Trump and his supporters have resisted a full endorsement of masks, and have been calling for resumption of normal economic activity after COVID concerns have caused many states to shut down.
There is a cultural divide over the handling of the pandemic, and many state and local governments have opted for conflicting strategies.
There are now more than 3.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and there is no sign of it slowing down any time soon. In fact, they have just broken a new record of 77,000 new cases and 969 new deaths within 24 hours.