WASHINGTON (CNN) — Melania Trump on Sunday tweeted her second message in 48 hours about the importance of taking seriously federal guidelines for people to wear masks or face coverings as coronavirus continues to spread across the country.
“I ask that everyone take social distancing & wearing a mask/face covering seriously. #COVID19 is a virus that can spread to anyone,” tweeted the first lady, simultaneously posting a link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
President Donald Trump was asked about her tweets during a coronavirus task force press briefing on Sunday, replying, “It’s good, no, she feels that way.”
“She likes the idea of wearing it, yeah she does,” Trump said. “A lot of people do. Again, it’s a recommendation, and I understand that recommendation, and I’m ok with it.”
“Would you like me to wear one right now in answering your question?” Trump asked jokingly. “That would be a little awkward I guess. But no, I mean, I again, I would wear one if I thought it was important.”
Asked if his family in New York would start wearing masks and if he was encouraging them to wear them, Trump answered, “wouldn’t be surprised.”
The first lady’s Sunday tweet was an echo of one she posted on Friday, requesting people to take wearing masks and following guidelines earnestly, minutes after the President said during a press briefing that he was opting not to wear a face covering, indicating a divide in messaging from the first couple.
On Friday evening, during one of the now common daily White House press briefings with the President and members of the coronavirus task force, Donald Trump outlined the new CDC guidance, which urges Americans to wear cloth face coverings in public to prevent the spread of the virus. “The CDC is advising the use of nonmedical cloth face covering as a voluntary health measure,” Donald Trump said. “It is voluntary. They suggested for a period of time. This is voluntary.”
The President said the new cloth face covering recommendations, which came after a week of heated deliberations inside the White House and were a reversal of previous guidance that suggested masks were unnecessary for people who weren’t sick, was something he was opting not to personally follow.
“I don’t think I’m going to be doing it,” he said, going on to suggest it was hard to envision such a thing in the Oval Office. “Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens — I just don’t see it,” the President said.
However, it is important to note, per the new guidelines, cloth face coverings are to keep people from spreading the disease if they are asymptotic carriers. The White House has said that the President has been tested twice, both times negative, and that anyone who is in close proximity to him is getting tested ahead of time.