US President Donald Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Donald Trump and Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus.
Last Updated: October 2, 2020, 11:50 AM IST


US President Donald Trump testing positive for coronavirus has just one lesson for everyone – wear a mask.

On Friday, Trump took to Twitter to announce that he and wife Melania had tested positive for coronavirus and that they were now in quarantine. This comes after one of Trump’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive for coronavirus. Hicks was traveling with Trump on Air Force One just this Tuesday to fly to Cleveland for the first presidential debate with Democrat Joe Biden.

Hicks was not wearing a mask while heading to Ohio for the debate. Here’s a tweet by an NBC reporter showing Hicks boarding Air Force One, without a face covering in sight.

Not just Hicks, Trump himself has had a rather strained relationship with masks. In the initial phases of the pandemic, when coronavirus cases in the United States were on a steep upward curve, Trump was repeatedly spotted without any mask on. In fact, he has been known to make fun of those who do wear masks – almost as if it was a sign of weakness.

In May 2020, Trump mocked a White House correspondent for wearing a mask to a press briefing. Yes, that really happened.

During the press conference, Trump was taking questions from reporters when a Reuters correspondent, Jeff Mason, asked him about former Vice President Joe Biden’s decision to wear a mask publicly in an event a few days ago. To Mason’s questions, Trump asked mockingly asked him to remove his mask as the he couldn’t hear the questions. Mason retorted that he would rather have it on. At this point, Trump accused Mason of being “politically correct”, referring to Biden wearing a mask.

In fact, the first time Trump was spotted in mask in public was in July, when the pandemic was already at its peak and had infected more than 3.2 million people in the United States. He wore a mask while visiting a military hospital in suburban Washington.

No one knows what exactly Trump’s problem with face masks is. In the same month, he had said that he refused to wear a mask, despite CDC warnings, because it would send the “wrong message” and would make him look ridiculous and weak.

In fact, at the US Presidential Debate, Trump mocked Biden for wearing a mask. Maybe Trump needed a reminder that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, the same pandemic that has now affected his family too.

Why Trump thinks that is something we fail to understand, since the CDC (Centre of Disease Control) has on multiple occasions recommended a mask in places where social distancing is difficult. Like debates. Or inside the Air Force One.

Both the World Health Organisation and the CDC have repeatedly warned people around the world about the dangers of stepping out without a mask. There is no vaccine for coronavirus yet. There is also no magical medicine which can cure Covid-19 or keep you safe from the virus. The only thing that can actually protect you from getting infected is washing your hands regularly, sanitising your hands and wearing a mask. It’s pretty simple, really.