Remember when Trump advised us to use scarves during mask shortage?

Of course, he was eviscerated by the med-science community and the mainstream media

Flashback to late March when community spread of the coronavirus was ramping up.

The WHO, the CDC and US Surgeon General were advising against wearing masks … saying that they were, at best minimally protective, could exasperate the problem if worn incorrectly and would distract people from handwashing and social distancing.

“The science” was unsettled.  Scientists were unsure how the virus was transmitted. There were published peer-reviewed studies on both sides of the issue.

That said, the  real reason for the science community’s advisories: masks were in short supply and the supply chain was impaired by Chinese hoarding and off-shored manufacturing.

In a Task Force press conference, Trump cut to the chase … said the real reason was the need to supply hospital workers with masks first … and he casually opined that, in the short-run, folks could stop-gap by using scarves or other face coverings as a make-shift protective shield.

click to view video (90 sec.)

Of course, Trump said it — and  he’s an MSM-certified idiot, so the media pounced:

Of course, there’s more to the story…


The MSM and med-science community had no choice but to pounce, right?

For example, CNBC reported doctors’ conflicting views that “there are pros and cons to using masks, makeshift or otherwise, in public.”

But, finessing the issue, CNBC (and many other outlets) headlined doctors saying:

“There is currently little empirical evidence to back up Trump’s recommendation that a scarf or other covering can substitute for a face mask.”


Fast forward to today…

The med-science community has broadly fessed up to the lie: all along, it was about supply shortages, not mask efficacy … and now positions masks as one of the few potentially potent weapons in the fight against the coronavirus — something that was intuitively obvious to anybody with an ounce of common sense back in March.

Now, Trump is being blamed for some folks not jumping on the mask bandwagon.


History will likely find the med-science community’s early mask  brush-off as one of the great fails of the pandemic response.

It’s hard putting the “won’t help, might hurt” genie back in the bottle.

Maybe Trump’s oft-advised “what have you got to lose?” would have been better advice.


P.S. Both the politics and the science are still confusing.

Example of the politics: Biden has gone from “National mask mandate on Day one” … to “Pressure the governors” … to “Federally mandated state mandates”.  RCP

Regarding mask efficacy: my best science source does work with both the NIH and the Chinese science community.  Their assessment: masks are about 15% effective inhibiting the exhaling or inhaling of the coronavirus.

My take: no panacea, but “what have you got to lose?”

BTW: Have you noticed how many people are wearing gaiters instead of masks?

One Response to “Remember when Trump advised us to use scarves during mask shortage?”

  1. Biden demonstrates how NOT to wear a mask… | The Homa Files Says:

    […] See also Remember when Trump advised us to use scarves during mask shortage? […]

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