Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday jumped on the Republican bandwagon urging the public to continue wearing face masks as coronavirus cases surge in several states.
"We must have no stigma - none - about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people", McConnell said in a speech to the Senate.
In a speech on the Senate floor on Monday, McConnell implored Americans to wear face coverings when they leave their homes, casting it as a simple step to combat the virus. "It is about protecting everyone we encounter". "He probably likes it that way", Trump said during an interview with the Wall Street Journal earlier this month.
Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, told CNN on Sunday that if Trump wore a mask in public it would encourage his supporters to also wear masks so as to slow the spread of the coronavirus. According to a June 23 Gallup opinion survey, almost 100% of Democrats reported wearing a mask during recent outings, whereas only 70% of Republicans said they had.
It was a sharp contrast from the message being delivered by Trump, who has refused to wear a face mask in public and has mocked former vice president Joe Biden for doing so.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Sunday that there should be a national mask mandate, calling it "long overdue".
Trump has been under growing pressure from both Republicans and Democrats to set an example for the country by wearing a face mask amid the current surge of the number of United States coronavirus cases, local analysts observed.
Trump himself has been mostly resistant to wearing face masks in public and has this month hosted two rallies with guest counts numbering in the thousands.