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Trump says he wears masks “when needed” and mocks Biden’s masks

President Trump touted his response to the coronavirus pandemic in his first debate with former Vice President Joe Biden and defended his decision to often appear in public without a facial covering, explaining that he wears a mask “when needed.”

“I think masks are okay,” Mr. Trump said, when asked why moderator Chris Wallace why he typically appears in public without wearing a mask. He pulled out a mask from his suit jacket to show that he carried it with him.

“I put a mask on, you know, when I think I need it. Tonight is an example, everybody has had a test,” Mr. Trump said. “I wear a mask when needed. When needed, I wear masks.”

The president also mocked Biden for wearing a mask every time he appears in public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear masks in public to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

“I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask,” Mr. Trump said, adding that Biden “could be speaking 200 feet away” and then “shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

Mr. Trump also defended his decision to hold large campaign rallies where there is limited social distancing and wearing a mask is not enforced. He noted that many of the rallies are held outside, which is considered to be safer than holding indoor events.

“People want to hear what I have to say,” Mr. Trump said, claiming that more people want to see him than Biden.

Biden also criticized Mr. Trump’s general response to the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Americans.

“The president has no plan. He hasn’t laid out anything. He knew all the way back in February how serious this crisis was,” Biden said, seemingly referring to when Mr. Trump told journalist Bob Woodward in February that the virus was “deadly stuff” while downplaying the risks in public.

Biden said that if he were president, he would ensure that hospitals had the equipment necessary to treat patients and protect health care workers, and that schools were properly funded.

Mr. Trump touted his decision to restrict travel from China at the end of January, claiming that it saved millions of lives.

“It’s China’s fault, it should have never happened,” Mr. Trump said, adding that he had received praise from governors as doing a “phenomenal job.”

“Many of your Democrat governors said President Trump did a phenomenal job,” Mr. Trump claimed. He also claimed that  “we’re weeks away from a vaccine,” and said that “far fewer people are dying.”

He praised his administration’s response to the coronavirus, claiming that the press was trying to undermine him.

“It’s just fake news. They give you good press, and give me bad press,” Mr. Trump said, referring to Biden. “I’ll tell you, Joe, you could’ve never done the job that we did.”

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The Latest: NYC to fine people without masks in some areas


NEW YORK — Alarmed by a spike in coronavirus infections in a few Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, New York City officials will start issuing fines in those areas to people who refuse to wear masks, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

De Blasio said he was sending teams of hundreds of outreach workers and contact tracers to nine Brooklyn and Queens ZIP codes that have seen an upswing in positive COVID-19 tests in hopes of avoiding harsher enforcement measures.


Those workers will be handing out masks but also insisting that people put them on if they are in a place where they could be within 6 feet of other people.

The Democratic mayor warned he could order further crackdowns, including the closing of nonessential businesses and bans on gatherings if things don’t improve. Private schools and child care centers could be closed if people refuse to comply with coronavirus guidelines, de Blasio said.



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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

— llinois Gov. Pritzker to quarantine 2 weeks after contact with staffer who tested positive

— India vice president tests positive for virus, isolating at home


— How can I volunteer for a COVID-19 vaccine study?

— The coronavirus is infecting a rising number of American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears driven by school re-openings, resumption of sports and play dates.

— University of Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins apologized for not wearing a mask after pictures surfaced online of him shaking hands and sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with people at a recent Rose Garden ceremony.


— Tennessee Titans players, staff test positive for coronavirus; first outbreak in the NFL at Week 4.

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Trump promised 300 million N95 masks by September. He isn’t even close.




a close up of a sign


© Yahoo News



WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is falling far short of its goal of having 300 million N95 respirators available in time for the flu season, according to internal documents reviewed by Yahoo News. Though the supply of N95 respirators has greatly increased in the last several months, it is at a little less than one-third of promised levels.

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N95 respirators protect wearers against the coronavirus better than cloth or surgical face masks; the name refers to their ability to filter out 95 percent, or all but the smallest, of particles. The masks are critical to people in medical settings and frontline occupations.

According to a briefing document circulated on Monday to senior officials in the Department of Health and Human Services, the government now has 87.6 million N95 masks available, far short of the 300 million promised several months ago. 

The administration has also stockpiled 49 million KN95 masks, which are certified by China, and are potentially less reliable. A recent study of KN95s imported to the U.S. found that 70 percent of the masks didn’t meet the required filtration standards.

N95 masks, on the other hand, are approved by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.



table: Source: FEMA


© Provided by Yahoo! News
Source: FEMA

In April, amid shortages of N95s, the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for the Chinese-certified version while the U.S. ramped up domestic production.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services defended the Trump administration’s efforts to stockpile sufficient quantities of face masks, saying it has moved “with deliberate and determined speed to ensure supplies and equipment are available for frontline U.S. healthcare workers.”

In recognition of fierce competition between individual states for personal protective equipment, as well as between states and the federal government, the spokesperson said the department was “taking care not to disrupt the commercial supply chain.”



KN95 respirator masks for sale in Elgin, Ill. (Mark Black/ZUMA Wire)


© Provided by Yahoo! News
KN95 respirator masks for sale in Elgin, Ill. (Mark Black/ZUMA Wire)

A shortage of respirators — on both federal and state levels — could prose problems in the months ahead, as the coronavirus pandemic and influenza season could potentially lead to a rush on hospitals through the fall and winter. States have been preparing for precisely that scenario, which could be exacerbated by reopening plans that are continuing to move forward.

The federal government stepped in late in the spring, promising that both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Strategic National Stockpile would have adequate protective equipment. The days of doctors sitting through seminars on how to sew masks or posting YouTube videos on how to reuse respirators, which are intended for single use, would be relegated to memory.

There were 13 million N95 masks in federal coffers in the winter of 2020, when the pandemic first arrived in the United States. 

On a press call with reporters on May 14, an administration official sounded confident. “We have an aspiration to eventually have a billion of those,” he