U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) appeared on CNN Sunday and seemed to chastise U.S. President Donald Trump for not wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If Trump wears a mask, the senator hypothesized, then the president’s voters will do as he does.
The senator expressed this sentiment on CNN’s “Inside Politics.”
“Well, I wish the president would wear a mask when it’s appropriate, because millions of Americans admire him, and they would follow his lead. And his experts have told all of us that wearing masks, social distancing and washing your hands is the way we can contain the disease, to go back to school and back to work. It also would help to get rid of this political debate that if you’re for President Trump, you don’t wear a mask, and if you’re against President Trump, you do wear a mask. The stakes are much too high for that,” Alexander told CNN host Manu Raju.
“I understand why he doesn’t. Most of the time, he’s with people who have been tested. He’s been tested, so they’re not infecting each other. But there are times when he could wear a mask, and the vice president could wear a mask. It would signal to the country that it is important to do so. It will help contain the disease because people admire him and will follow his lead. So I think it would be a sign of strength if he would, from time to time, wear a mask and remind everyone that it’s a good way to help deal with this disease. And we’re going to deal with it through 2020 until we get a vaccine.”
After Sunday’s interview, Alexander’s staff published a partial transcript of the senator’s CNN appearance and sent it out as a press release. That press release emphasized Alexander telling CNN that Trump should wear a mask.
Alexander chairs the U.S. Senate Health Committee.
Throughout the interview Raju’s questions seemed loaded and repeatedly tried to undermine Trump and his credibility — specifically on how the president has handled the COVID-19 pandemic thus far.
Watch the full segment:
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