Trump has refused to set an example for the nation by wearing a mask publicly, and in May said he didn't wear a face covering during a visit to an indoor Ford plant in MI because he "didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it".
"It looked like the Lone Ranger", he said, a reference to the fictional law-and-order character who wore a black eye mask.
"I don't know if you need mandatory", Trump said Wednesday in a Fox Business Network interview. "They get tested before they see me, but if I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely".
"I think the Democrats would like to see the country stay closed as long as possible because they figure that's probably good for the election, because it would be bad a little bit for jobs, and maybe a lot for jobs", Trump said. That means the virus can spread between people who are close to each other when speaking, coughing or sneezing, even if they aren't showing coronavirus symptoms.
An ABC News/Ipsos poll found that in the last week, 89% of Americans said they wore a mask or face covering outside their home in the last week - a 20-point jump from mid-April. In May, Trump flew all the way to Phoenix, Arizona, to celebrate the workers at a Honeywell plant churning out masks for healthcare workers during the pandemic.
White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway noted Wednesday that Trump is regularly tested for the coronavirus, as are his aides.
As a surge of infections hammers the South and West, GOP officials are pushing back against the notion that masks are about politics, as President Donald Trump suggests, and telling Americans they can help save lives.
What if I want to take my chances with catching COVID-19?
Donald Trump has rarely appeared in public wearing a mask. Several states, including Florida, New York and Texas, have paused or slowed down reopening amid the recent increase in confirmed cases.
Trump said that the reason he doesn't wear a mask in public appearances is because he maintains an appropriate distance from other people. In that visit, he opted not to wear the covering in front of the media but was photographed masked during a private part of the tour.
Vice-President Mike Pence, who heads the US Covid-19 task force, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Mitt Romney and congresswoman Liz Cheney have been among conservatives to urge Americans to wear masks in recent days.
And he added that he has "suggested that the president occasionally wear a mask". "If you're against Trump, you do", said Lamar Alexander, a Republican senator from Tennessee.
During Senate testimony on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, warned the country could see as many as 100,000 new Covid-19 cases per day "if this does not turn around". About 20 states have mandated mask wearing in public.
The comments come amid coronavirus case numbers surging across America, with the daily record for new cases being broken four times in the last week.