A day after saying he would not consider a national mask mandate, President Donald Trump tweeted a picture of himself Monday wearing one, calling it "patriotic."
The tweet said in part, “many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can't socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!"
The picture was from his recent visit to Walter Reed Medical Center. It’s also the only time the president has worn a mask publicly.
It’s a major shift in messaging, even from just this weekend when Trump said he would not consider a national mandate on masks.
“I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don't believe in that. With that being said, I'm a believer in masks. I think masks are good. But I leave it up to the governors,” Trump said.
So why the student change of heart? NBC 6 Political Analysts Carlos Curbelo says it’s almost certainly politically motivated.
“The president is seeing the same poll numbers that the rest of the country is seeing,” Curbelo said.
In fact some polls show the president trailing Joe Biden by double digits.
And it's not just the new mask message, Trump also announced that he’s bring back briefings.
Curbelo says the president knows that he needs to change course if he wants to win in November.
“The president has, for a long time, said that wearing a mask projects weakness, and this is a president who always wants to project strength and always wants to say he's right, so this is almost certainly a reaction to declining poll numbers,” Curbelo said.