Trump’s COVID testing czar wants more people to wear masks in the White House, during Trump rallies

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Former Trump administration COVID testing czar Brett Giroir wants more people to wear face masks in the White House and at Trump rallies when he was on the coronavirus task force.

“There wasn’t a lot of mask wearing in the White House, and we were very worried about it, and there wasn’t a lot of mask wearing at rallies, even though they were available,” Grioir told CNN. New day Friday. “These are things I wish they had done for sure.”

While in office, former President Donald Trump sadly downplayed the effectiveness of masks, refusing to be photographed with a mask until his trip to Walter Reed Medical Center in early July, more than four months after the start of the pandemic.

In April 2020, Trump stressed that even if the masks were recommended by the country’s major public health agencies, the safety measure should be voluntary and added that he would step down.

“The CDC advises the use of a non-medical fabric face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure. So it’s voluntary. You don’t have to. They suggested for a period of time, but it’s voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to do it, “the former president said from the White House on April 3, 2020.

Trump has also repeatedly mocked his opponent and then Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for wearing one, claiming that Biden wears a mask “every time you see him,” which Trump argued was not necessary when there were other measures, like social distancing and testing, in place.

Giroir said that despite the lack of masks in the White House, he believes the coronavirus task force has relayed the best COVID-19 information to the president, his team and the public.

“The working group, in particular under the vice-president [Mike Pence], has always given what we thought was the best public health information, ”said Giroir. “Sometimes that has changed because the information has changed – as you see the information and the data changing with the current administration – but I think we have provided the best evidence, with some of the caveats that I already have. say. “

He continued, “Wearing the mask is clearly something that we wanted to promote more and I think the senior members of the administration could have done more for it, but they pretty much took the advice we gave. gave them. “

Former Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir has said he wants more senior Trump officials to wear face masks in the White House during the pandemic. Giroir testifies during a Senate hearing September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Alex Edelman / Pool

While Giroir disagreed with Biden on other COVID-related issues in the past, the former Assistant Health Secretary on Friday praised the current administration for its investment in rapid COVID-19 testing.

On Wednesday, the White House announced that the federal government is investing an additional $ 1 billion in rapid tests to quadruple the supply by December. The Biden administration also invested $ 2 billion in tests last month.

“[The Trump administration] worked as hard as possible to develop rapid tests and the first one was really the BinaxNOW board test, this side flow antigen test, and we bought all of the US production for many months, ”Giroir said.

“These rapid tests are very good, they can be done at home, they are very inexpensive. We know that if you do them, it will identify people who are likely to transmit the virus, therefore people who are contagious,” the former Tsar of Tests added. “I think it’s a good move on the part of the Biden administration.”

He called on state governments to help the federal government by buying tests that are faster to put on the shelves and make them more widely available.

The Biden administration estimates there will be a monthly supply of 200 million home rapid tests by December as it ramps up production.


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