For Trump, ‘freedom’ before mask

Donald Trump visits Georgia to talk about an infrastructure overhaul at the UPS Hapeville hub at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Wednesday July 15, 2020 in Atlanta.

US President Donald Trump said he would not consider a national mandate requiring people to wear masks to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Asked in an interview on Fox News to be broadcast on Sunday if he would consider a mandate, Trump said: “No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that.”

In the state of Georgia, governor Brian Kemp sued Atlanta's mayor to prevent her from mandating masks, while Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot, leader of the country’s third-largest school district, unveiled a plan to offer both in-person and remote instruction over the objection of the teachers’ union.

The mask defiance has touched a nerve among medical professionals. More than 1,200 of them, including 161 nurses, have died from the coronavirus in the US, according to the National Nurses United union.

“Everybody is saying that (wearing a mask) is a violation of their freedom — no, it’s not because a seatbelt is mandated and that’s to save your life,” said Sharon Taylor, 48, a cardiothoracic nurse in Atlanta.


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