The surgeon general is begging you to wear a mask. Trump finally agrees

CNN's John King details the difference between President Trump and his Surgeon General Jerome Adams thoughts on the effectiveness of wearing masks.

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 8:01 AM
Updated: Jul 21, 2020 8:01 AM

First, there was very good news on the vaccine front Monday. Read more here.

But there's still a very long way to go until we're all getting one. That's why the US Surgeon General got on Fox News and begged Americans to wear face masks in public.

"I'm pleading with your viewers. I'm begging you," Jerome Adams said during the appearance before the conservative audience on "Fox & Friends."

"Please understand that we are not trying to take away your freedoms when we say, 'Wear a face covering.'"

So why no face mask requirement? "If you are going to have a federal mandate you have to have a federal enforcement mechanism and right now as scientist and an educator, I would rather help people understand why they should cooperate with wearing a mask and how they benefit from it, versus just simply saying we are going to force you to do it, particularly by sending in federal troops or using federal mechanisms," Adams said.

The pivot. President Donald Trump later in the day tweeted a photograph of himself wearing a mask, calling it "patriotic."

Here's the entire history of mask recommendations.

Here's a list of all the states now requiring masks in public.

50% reduction: "People need to know that wearing masks can reduce transmission of the virus by as much as 50%, and those who refuse are putting their lives, their families, their friends, and their communities at risk," Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, told CNN's Holly Yan.

Horrible, sick irony. Trump and other leaders did not lead the way in the US on encouraging face masks even after it was clear they helped stop the spread of Covid in part because they wanted to focus on reopening the country.

Now, as the Washington Post points out, countries that did focus on masks are in a stronger position to reopen, albeit still with masks, and the US is finding itself on more travel restriction lists and more parts of the country may have to return to more stringent restrictions on daily life.

Admitting there's a problem

There is clearly a new line from the White House and federal officials.

Trump used to deny there was a problem. Now he's admitting to a "big flare-up in Florida, Texas, and a couple of other places."

The assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Adm. Brett Giroir, said on CNN Monday, "There is no question we're having a surge right now."

That's been clear for weeks in the continued high number of positive tests.

It's clear in the growing number of hospitalizations in many states, like Mississippi, where the governor said Sunday on CNN that the number of Covid-19 patients needing hospital care has about doubled in two weeks.

The growth is actually across most of the country, according to CNN's report. As of Monday morning, 31 states have seen more new cases this past week compared to new cases from the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Read this set of bullet points in a story from CNN's Christina Maxouris and Holly Yan. What follows weeks of increased infections? Overwhelmed hospitals.

  • Los Angeles reported its highest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations in a day, with at least 2,216 people hospitalized. And more than half of the 2,848 new cases reported Sunday were among people under 41 years old, officials said.
  • In Florida, at least 49 hospitals had no more ICU space available on Sunday, according to data from Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration.
  • Arizona reported its highest number of Covid-19 deaths in one day -- 147 -- according to the Covid Tracking Project and Johns Hopkins. At least two states reported record single-day case increases Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Trump says he'll get involved again

Perhaps it is an increasingly difficult situation in states with GOP governors increasingly implementing their own mask orders that has Trump looking more isolated and changing his tune.

But his solution, rather than more federal money for testing and contact tracing, is a return to his own press conferences.

"I'll get involved and we'll start doing briefings," he saId.

You might recall his previous briefings, which CNN's Kevin Liptak describes as "a hallmark of the pandemic's earlier days. They ceased after Trump repeatedly found himself sparring with reporters and going on tangents, including one about ingesting disinfectant."

Why the switch? Liptak writes: "Trump's aides worry he appears absent as the crisis continues to rage. Trump no longer attends daily coronavirus task force meetings and hasn't held an event specifically focused on the virus in two weeks."

He also noted that Trump views this in terms of ratings rather than infections.

"I think it's a great way to get information out to the public," Trump said, adding they would likely resume on Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET -- the same time he typically briefed in the spring.

"We had a good slot. A lot of people were watching," Trump said, using television ratings lingo to describe the sessions. "We had record numbers watching," he said. "In the history of cable television there's never been anything like it."

One has to wonder how effective these new briefings will be if Trump spouts in the self-defeating way he did to Chris Wallace of Fox News on Sunday, in which he said he'll be right eventually on Covid. How many people will die and how long will that take?

No, martial law is not 'law and order'

Over the weekend we saw distressing images of protesters in Portland being plucked off the street by unidentifiable masked men.

Trump applauded those tactics at the White House Monday and said they're on the way to other cities run, he said, by "liberal Democrats."

That's the President targeting cities run by his political opponents with a militarized police force.

That's not normal. That shouldn't be normal.

It's clear his view of "law and order" is more like "martial law." Read more here.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 660071

Reported Deaths: 12531
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion904161633
Lake48298874
Allen35720633
Hamilton31970396
St. Joseph29796510
Elkhart25331412
Vanderburgh21192377
Tippecanoe19927199
Johnson16312356
Porter15917269
Hendricks15785300
Clark11913180
Madison11717315
Vigo11562229
Monroe10300159
Delaware9824179
LaPorte9739196
Howard9038195
Kosciusko8539108
Bartholomew7424147
Hancock7399130
Warrick7399150
Floyd7180167
Wayne6622191
Grant6413157
Boone606888
Morgan6066124
Dubois5890111
Dearborn544466
Cass542899
Marshall5414104
Henry541392
Noble508476
Jackson464165
Shelby459890
Lawrence4174111
Gibson400981
Harrison397863
Clinton394453
Montgomery385083
DeKalb384378
Knox356285
Miami356163
Whitley348435
Huntington341876
Steuben337455
Wabash330576
Putnam328259
Ripley326461
Adams322149
Jasper314843
White297152
Jefferson293773
Daviess285096
Fayette271156
Decatur270188
Greene260780
Posey260431
Wells257174
Scott250050
LaGrange240770
Clay240344
Randolph225376
Spencer216930
Jennings214344
Washington209927
Sullivan202939
Fountain201042
Starke187250
Owen181953
Fulton177937
Jay177528
Carroll176218
Perry173335
Orange170950
Rush164322
Vermillion160141
Franklin159135
Tipton145941
Parke138615
Pike127432
Blackford120527
Pulaski106544
Newton96531
Brown94839
Benton91713
Crawford90313
Martin80114
Warren75312
Switzerland7527
Union66910
Ohio52911
Unassigned0433

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 964380

Reported Deaths: 17183
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1114961198
Cuyahoga950781723
Hamilton72988958
Montgomery47128883
Summit39949954
Butler35292468
Lucas35069761
Stark29218837
Warren22294272
Lorain21904389
Mahoning19348540
Lake18307304
Clermont18271210
Delaware16347135
Licking14893199
Fairfield14449157
Trumbull14239460
Greene13520212
Medina13290219
Clark12194335
Wood11460193
Portage10928155
Allen10742233
Richland10226205
Miami9984187
Muskingum8125129
Columbiana8086182
Tuscarawas8003235
Pickaway800199
Marion7963137
Wayne7837218
Erie6826184
Ross6104136
Geauga6030129
Hancock5965112
Ashtabula5917144
Scioto5906104
Lawrence521874
Union508852
Darke5021123
Belmont488388
Huron4761117
Jefferson4756107
Sandusky474494
Seneca4640103
Athens460931
Washington458787
Mercer4577101
Auglaize454698
Shelby440368
Knox400486
Putnam3976101
Madison390947
Fulton377364
Ashland377195
Defiance3699102
Brown368342
Crawford356096
Logan352459
Preble351771
Clinton338564
Highland326255
Ottawa320867
Williams301077
Jackson288556
Guernsey285034
Champaign284445
Fayette267644
Perry266743
Morrow258624
Henry244865
Hardin243256
Holmes2428104
Coshocton232847
Van Wert228549
Gallia220746
Adams215132
Pike213627
Wyandot208752
Hocking193248
Carroll179828
Paulding159223
Meigs134636
Noble128442
Monroe115636
Morgan100434
Harrison100132
Vinton76615
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