© AFP 2023 / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS
The former president did not mandate the use of a mask, and even eschewed the mask in some cases: downplaying its effectiveness, refusing to be photographed wearing one, and mocking then-former US Vice President Joe Biden for wearing them.
A new book is revealing the real reason as to why former US President Donald Trump refused to wear a mask: Trump was worried about his makeup, more specifically his bronzer, which would rub off on the masks he wore.
The revelation comes from Cassidy Hutchinson - a former White House aide and assistant to former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who is set to soon release a memoir detailing her time at the White House during the Trump administration.
In her book, Hutchinson describes a visit to the Honeywell facility in in Phoenix, Arizona, where Trump was criticized for not wearing a mask during a tour of the grounds. The criticism came as the workers themselves were wearing face coverings, as well as producing masks.
The former president reportedly questioned whether or not he should wear a mask during the tour. Itís said he put on a white mask, turned to staffers and asked for their opinion.
Trump, displeased with this information, asked, "Why did no one else tell me that?" before adding, "Iím not wearing this thing."
"The press would criticize him for not wearing a mask, not knowing that the depth of his vanity had caused him to reject masks - and then millions of his fans followed suit," Hutchinson reportedly
Trump did not explain the true reason as to why he toured the facility sans mask. At the time, he told reporters he had consulted the company chief executive.
Hutchinson also writes in her book that Trump and Meadows had joked about the then-president having COVID-19 while they were on Air Force One. The flight took place just after the first debate with now-President Joe Biden in 2020.
During the flight, Trump speculated about his health and said his voice sounded "a little bit off" during a rally in Duluth, Minnesota. He then said he didnít want the media to accuse him of having COVID-19, to which Meadows "laughed and promised him that we would handle it if it happened," referring to Hutchinson. In his own book, Meadows reportedly wrote Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 three days prior to the debate, but disregarded it after another test came back negative.
Despite worsening symptoms, Trump carried out public events including the debate, as well as a reception for bereaved military families.
Hutchinson confirmed these claims in her novel, writing that Meadows and her were in a limo following the Air Force One plane ride. She asked if Trump had COVID-19, but Meadows did not respond.
Supporters of Trump followed his suit and became anti-maskers, people who, during the pandemic, were not only more unlikely to wear a mask but vehemently opposed to doing so. Trump eventually softened his tone on masks, but the damage had already been done: between March and November of 2020 an estimated 121,000 Americans had died, many of which could have been prevented by the use of mask, new reports have noted.