Trump’s Anti-Mask Strategy

So, what was the point of Donald Trump not wearing a face mask for so long? Why did it seem like he was encouraging people to not wear masks?

If President Trump knew that the coronavirus was real, and was killing people, why would he make people think its severity was being blown out of proportion? Did he want people to get sick?

Watching these hundreds (not thousands, not tens of thousands) of anti-shutdown, anti- face mask protesters, I am struck with a notion (with a suspicion).

Someone hoped these demonstrations would be a lot larger, a lot louder, and more widespread than they were/are, as large as the BLM protests, as loud and aggressive as the riots. Someone wanted the protests and protesters to force governors and mayors to reopen their states and cities, their businesses, and give Trump the economic numbers he thinks (believes) he needs to get reelected. Because Trump believes that his presidency rises and falls with the US economy.

That’s why Trump did not want to wear a mask: to convince people that there is nothing to worry about, that people are making a big deal out of nothing, that there is no reason to shut down most of the country, or the world, that fear-mongering liberals are using a virus that is no more harmful than the flu as an excuse to violate people’s rights, shut down churches, turn the US into a socialist police state, etc. – to make shutting down the economy seem like an overreaction, like cowardice, like a conspiracy – and like it’s anyone’s idea but his. “THEY” are responsible for damaging the economy, for weakening this country. Not me! Don’t take it out on me!

It’s amazing how many bad ideas come from seeing a problem from the wrong perspective. Trump doesn’t have a major war; this pandemic is the true test of his presidency. The way he handled COVID-19 defined him as a leader and is for many people the biggest argument against his reelection.

And it should be. This is an obvious case of a US president putting money above US citizens lives.

P.S. I just thought of something else. Maybe Trump didn’t want to wear a face mask because he thought it looked unmanly. Maybe he thought it would make it look like he was afraid, and that it would send the wrong signal to Americans, and feed the panic.

Maybe he wanted to look like he was immune to the coronavirus.

It is understandable. In the beginning, I was worried about how wearing a face mask would make me look in my neighborhood, where so few people were wearing them and so few seemed to be taking it seriously. 

But, presenting this type of leadership to the country, to the world – “This is manhood, this is leadership, not wearing a face mask in the midst of a pandemic” – probably encouraged a lot of people, mainly male, not to wear face masks, either, at the expense of their health and the health of others.

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