Trump won't issue national face mask mandate, slams Democrat-run cities for surging violence

Trump cites conflicting advice he got from federal medical officials, desire to give Americans freedom to choose.

Updated: July 17, 2020 - 10:33pm

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President Trump says he thinks masks can be helpful in fighting coronavirus but won't issue a national mandate, letting Americans decide for themselves.

Trump explained his thinking in an interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace that will air this Sunday, saying his medical advisers like infectious disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci have given him conflicting advice on the efficacy of masks and he does not believe they will fully stop the coronavirus.

“I want people to have a certain freedom and I don’t believe in that, no,” Trump said when asked about a mandate. "...I don’t agree with the statement that if everyone wore a mask, everything disappears."

The Centers for Disease Control now advises Americans to wear masks in public though earlier it and Fauci recommended against it.

“Dr. Fauci said don’t wear a mask, our surgeon general — terrific guy — said don’t wear a mask. Everybody was saying don’t wear a mask, all of a sudden everybody’s got to wear a mask,” Trump said. “And as you know, masks cause problems too. With that being said, I am a believer in masks. I think masks are good.

The president also slammed Democrat-run cities like New York, Chicago and Kansas City for failing to protect their citizens from raging violence that claimed scores of lives this summer, including children.

“I explain it very simply by saying they’re Democrat-run cities, they are liberally run. They are stupidly run,” Trump said.

You can watch excerpts of the interview here.