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Republican leaders now say everyone should wear a mask ? even as


The GOP-led city of Jacksonville — which President Trump recently selected to host many of the Republican National Convention festivities in part because of its relatively lax public health restrictions — is now mandating people wear masks in indoor public spaces. And even Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy, two of Trump’s most fervent and loyal boosters on Fox News Channel, have joined the chorus of mask advocates.

“I think that if the president wore one, it would just set a good example,” Doocy said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends” as he interviewed Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “MAGA should now stand for ‘masks are great again.’ Let me give you some marketing advice right there.”

McDaniel chuckled and said she would “take that under consideration” — but her laugh underscored the reality that Trump is unlikely to change his campaign slogan.

The president has refused to trumpet his own administration’s recommendation that people cover their faces, nor has he set an example by wearing a mask at public events. In fact, he has used his bully pulpit to mock others who do and to cast doubt on the efficacy of masks.

But with coronavirus cases soaring across the nation — and most precipitously across Florida, Texas and other parts of so-called Trump country — many prominent Republicans are now echoing the pleas of infectious-diseases expert Anthony S. Fauci and other health experts that people wear masks to slow the spread of the virus and help the economy reopen safely.

The recent shift on the political right has left Trump isolated, with the president and his White House staff openly resisting the calls for mask-wearing.

“The president has said he has no problem with masks, that he encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety and to follow what their local jurisdictions say,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday. “CDC guidelines are still recommended but not required, and the president is the most tested man in America.”

That is a marked contrast in tone from other elected Republicans who have been talking about the issue in recent days with fresh urgency. Particularly among GOP senators, there has been a noticeable uptick in public comments and social media posts proactively encouraging the public to adorn masks as the number of infections rises nationwide.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) — who usually wears a patriotic, flag-emblazoned mask around the Hill — tweeted Monday that wearing a mask is “one of the simplest and easiest ways to help stop the spread of #COVID19.” Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the second-oldest member of the Senate, on Monday posted a photo on Instagram of himself wearing a mask with the logo of the University of Northern Iowa. The photo’s caption read, “everybody’s got to do their share.”

McConnell told reporters on Tuesday, as he waved his Washington Nationals logo mask, “What we’re all trying to demonstrate…


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