CORONAVIRUS

Trump Campaign Manager Debuts Trump-Branded Face Mask; Twitter Critics Flip

The irony of the reelection slogan "Keep America Great" on required protective gear amid a pandemic was not lost.

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign manager, Brad Parscale, tweeted images Thursday of “Keep America Great”-branded face masks.

The irony was not lost on many Twitter users, who pointed out the president persistently dismissed the threat of the coronavirus, leading to a severe outbreak in the United States that has claimed more than 75,000 lives. The production of these promotional masks seems a particularly absurd move given the administration’s failure to help provide adequate personal protective equipment for health care workers and Trump’s own refusal to wear a mask at events despite safety guidelines.

Trump said Thursday he and his staff would be tested daily for coronavirus after a military aide with whom he’d interacted had tested positive for the virus. Parscale said the image of him wearing the mask was shot at the White House “pre-covid results”:

A campaign representative told HuffPost that the campaign is giving the branded masks away. 

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the campaign was ordering Trump-branded masks in an effort to connect with older voters who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and are increasingly supporting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. These masks would be given away at events in return for donations, the Journal reported.

In a bizarre twist, a similar scenario played out in a February episode of “Saturday Night Live,” in a mocking skit featuring a top administration official proposing “Make America Great Again” masks made in China.

Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence ― whose name was also featured on the mask ― have faced backlash in the past two weeks for not wearing masks in public.

And Parscale has been the subject of scrutiny this week for collecting $38.9 million from the president’s reelection committees between January 2017 and the end of March.

Here’s how Twitter users responded to the new product:

This story has been updated with comments from the campaign.


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