America's First Lady Melania Trump has taken to Twitter to urge Americans to wear a cloth face mask as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread through the country – despite the fact her husband US President Donald Trump refuses to wear one.
Melania shared both a photo and a video to get her message across, in the video she said, "As the CDC [US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] continues to study the spread of the COVID-19, they're recommending that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures can be difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.
"Remember, this does not replace the importance of social distancing. It's another recommended guideline to keep us all safe," she concluded.
As the CDC continues to study the spread of the COVID-19, they recommend people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures can be difficult to maintain. Remember, this does not replace the importance of social distancing. pic.twitter.com/eF3o33CUVS
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) April 9, 2020
The video was then followed by a photo of Melania in a face mask with a similar caption.
As the CDC studies the spread of #COVID-19, they recommend people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when social distancing can be hard to do. Remember, this does NOT replace the importance of social distancing. pic.twitter.com/HRaQHFgXxn
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) April 9, 2020
Americans were urged to wear face coverings from April 3 as a way to prevent the spread of coronavirus by those were are asymptomatic.
In Australia, the advice from the Department of Health suggests "most people won't benefit from wearing a surgical mask", as it's only really helpful for those with the coronavirus to stop the spread.
However, an Australian doctor, Dr Zac Turner, believes that we should be following the lead of countries with the flattest curves around the world, where people wear face masks whenever they’re outside.
He acknowledged that there is currently a face mask shortage and people shouldn’t be rushing out to buy them, so instead, he recommends making one yourself at home, using items you have around your house. Find out how to do so here.
Despite Melania's message about masks, Donald Trump has said the guidelines are voluntary, adding, "I'm choosing not to [wear one]."
When asked about Melania's stance on masks at a press briefing on Sunday, the President said, "It's good, no, she feels that way. She likes the idea of wearing it, yeah, she does. A lot of people do. Again, it's a recommendation, and I understand that recommendation, and I'm OK with it."
People were quick to slam the video, with many people suggesting Donald Trump acted far too late to keep the country safe from coronavirus.
One user wrote, "Your husband. Did nothing. For months. 14000 dead in the US today."
Another said, "This is like the worst thing I've ever seen. I'm going to use some coveted hand sanitiser as eye drops right now..."
Someone else commented about how they wished the Obamas were still in the White House, "I miss Michelle Obama... she would know what to do at a time like this."
Another added, "THANKS!! I'll get medical advice elsewhere honey!"
Melania also shared a video of herself earlier in the week thanking those working on the frontline of the pandemic.
She said, "To all of our medical personnel and other frontline responders, on behalf of a grateful nation: thank you. The President and I appreciate all that you are doing to keep the people of our country healthy and safe.
"In the most difficult of times, the United States never fails to rise to the occasion with both unity and strength. It is because of you that the people of America are receiving the care and treatment they need. We stand united with you and we salute your courageous and compassionate efforts. Our prayers are with all who are fighting this invisible enemy, COVID-19."
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