McConnell Breaks With Trump On Masks, Says There’s ‘No Stigma’ To Wearing Them

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) listens to President Donald Trump speak during a press conference on May 19, 2020. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
May 28, 2020 7:46 a.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

President Donald Trump claims wearing masks is about being “politically correct” during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) doesn’t seem to agree.

“There’s no stigma attached to wearing a mask,” McConnell said on Wednesday during an event in Kentucky, according to Politico. “There’s no stigma attached to staying six feet apart.”

The GOP leader said that he himself wears masks in order to set a “good example.”

He asserted that wearing masks, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended to prevent asymptomatic people infect more vulnerable and older people, is “not too much to ask of a younger person,” who are less likely to experience the more life-threatening aspects of the virus.

“Just because you’re 21, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to other people, even though your chances of having a problem are pretty slim,” said McConnell.

“I think the more we can say that the better,” he added.

McConnell is the latest conservative to clash with Trump on wearing facial coverings, a guideline the President has publicly flouted while disparaging it as a “politically correct” measure, fueling the notion that wearing a mask is merely an anti-Trump stunt.

On Tuesday night, Fox News host Sean Hannity urged viewers to “please wear the mask,” as have GOP governors to their constituents.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world). (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: