Trump is pictured openly wearing face mask for the first time

Donald Trump has donned a face mask to visit recuperating military personnel at the Walter Reed military hospital, in a rare nod to the coronavirus pandemic.

Health experts agree that face masks are useful at stopping the spread of COVID-19.

The president has repeatedly shrugged off suggestions of wearing a mask, saying that it causes people to touch their face too much and so is not helpful.

Trump told Fox News on Thursday that he would wear a face mask during the trip.

‘I’m going to Walter Reed to see some of our great soldiers who have been injured,’ he told Sean Hannity.

‘Badly injured. And also see some of our COVID workers, people who have such a great job.

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‘And I expect to be wearing a mask when I go into Walter Reed. You’re in a hospital so I think it’s a very appropriate thing.’

Trump’s decision to model a mask in public view and tout it during a Fox News interview Thursday night came after a quiet lobbying campaign by some White House aides and political advisers, aides familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Some of his aides were reportedly concerned by the sight of so many maskless Trump supporters at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month and worried by the surge of coronavirus cases in the South.

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