TRUMP SAYS VIRUS IN US WILL GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER, EMBRACES MASKS FINALLY


ASSOCIATED PRESS


President Donald Trump warned that the “nasty horrible’” coronavirus will get worse in the U.S. before it gets better. But he also tried to paint a rosy picture of efforts to conquer the disease, which has claimed more than 140,000 American lives in just five months.

After a three-month hiatus from his freewheeling daily virus briefings, Trump returned to the podium, keeping the stage to himself without the public health experts who were staples of his previous events but keeping close to scripted remarks prepared by aides, reports Zeke Miller.

Masks: Too little, too late? Trump says he’s "getting used to" wearing a face mask and has "no problem" with them. He showed one off from the White House briefing room podium, but didn't put it on, and urged Americans to follow his lead. The comments mark an about-face for a president who spent months resisting wearing a mask in public and once suggested they might be a political statement against him. Critics have blamed the president for fueling a partisan divide on the issue.

Front-line Workers: Chantee Mack was a veteran public health worker, so she knew the coronavirus could kill. So she asked — twice — for permission to work from home. But the Prince George's County health department in Maryland deemed her essential and said no. Eight weeks later, she was dead. The outbreak at the Maryland office that sickened 20 workers and killed Mack illustrates the tension between serving the community and protecting workers from a deadly disease.

An ongoing Associated Press-KHN investigation finds that such outbreaks are a grim threat facing overburdened and underfunded health departments across the U.S.

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