A Republican senator is urging Donald Trump to wear a mask because of the ongoing threat from the Coronavirus pandemic. Lamar Alexander wants to end partisan debate on the issue.
The Tennessee senator, who is chairman of the Senate Health Committee, said on Tuesday that he suggested wearing a mask to the President.
“Unfortunately this simple lifesaving practice has become part of a political debate that says: If you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask. If you’re against Trump, you do,” Alexander explained.
“That is why I have suggested the president should occasionally wear a mask even though there are not many occasions when it is necessary for him to do so,” he said.
“The President has millions of admirers. They would follow his lead. It would help end this political debate. The stakes are too high for it to continue.”
Alexander isn’t the first Republican to urge the wearing of masks. On the Senate floor on Monday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a similar plea.
“We must have no stigma — none — about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people,” McConnell said.
“Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves. It is about protecting everyone we encounter,” he said.
Senator Marco Rubio has also said people should “just wear a damn mask.”
President Trump has so far refused to do so in public.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media