Coronavirus: Trump says he'd have 'no problem' using mask in 'tight' quarters

A January 2020 photo shows Trump signing the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement at the White House. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump, who has yet to be seen in public wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic, said on Wednesday (July 1) he would have "no problem" doing so, while reiterating his belief that the contagion will just "disappear".

"If I were in a tight situation with people, I would absolutely," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business, as many US states are seeing a surge in the number of cases.

But he added: "Usually I'm not in that position."

Trump noted that most people he sees at the White House are tested for Covid-19 before coming in contact with him.

"I'm all for masks - I think masks are good," he said, while adding his doubts about whether face coverings needed to be "mandatory" nationwide to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

"You have many places in the country where people stay very long distance" from each other, he said.

"I think we are going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that, at some point, that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope," he said.

When pressed by the interviewer whether he truly believed the virus would vanish, he said: "I do. I do. Yes, sure, at some point. And I think we're going to have a vaccine very soon too."

Trump made similar statements in February, when he said: "It's going to disappear. One day, it's like a miracle, it will disappear."

Many Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are now more actively encouraging Americans to wear masks in public.

While Vice-President Mike Pence has worn masks on several occasions, including during a recent trip to hard-hit Texas, Trump has never been seen in public wearing one.

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