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#Trump again pushes wearing masks, saying he ‘believes in it’ in coronavirus briefing

#Trump again pushes wearing masks, saying he ‘believes in it’ in coronavirus briefing

July 22, 2020 | 7:05pm

WASHINGTON — President Trump was back at the podium for another White House coronavirus briefing on Wednesday evening, appearing for a second time without his health experts.

Unlike his free-wheeling appearances at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic which abruptly ended in April, Trump spoke for just 21 minutes and implored Americans to wear a mask and wash their hands.

“I believe in it,” Trump said, pulling a navy mask out of his pocket. “I have it.”

“I think you want to travel with a mask. There are instances where you really can use it. I would believe it would be a good thing,” he continued.

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For the second night in a row, he also encouraged younger Americans to avoid packed bars. “We’re all in this together,” he said.

The president brought back his nightly briefings on Tuesday after a months-long hiatus.

Trump touted his administration’s progress in combating the pandemic, even as cases continue to surge, and told reporters “we think we have a winner” in a new Pfizer vaccine which the feds just placed a $2 billion order for.

The president also announced his administration would be pouring additional resources into combating infections in nursing homes, including an extra $5 billion in funding to help support new increased testing requirements.

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Trump repeated his calls for schools around the country to re-open and asked if he was prepared to send his own son, Barron, and grandchildren back to the classroom, he said: “Yes, I am comfortable with that.”

Noticeably absent from the briefing was the White House coronavirus task force, including Dr. Deborah Birx who was right outside the West Wing doing an interview with Fox News moments later.

On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN he had not been invited to attend the rebooted events but Trump on Wednesday said the pair were in constant contact.

“They are briefing me. I’m meeting them. I just spoke to Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Birx is right outside and they are giving me all of everything they know,” Trump told reporters.

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“I’m giving the information to you, and I think it’s probably a very concise way of doing it, it seems to be working out very well,” he continued.

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