Surgeon General Jerome Adams sides with Trump on opposing national coronavirus mask mandate

Adams said he would rather educate Americans about mask-wearing

Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Fox News on Monday that he supported President Trump's opposition to a nationwide mask-wearing mandate amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Adams said he would rather educate Americans about mask-wearing than enforce a mandate.

"I would rather help people understand why they should cooperate with wearing a mask and how they benefit from it versus simply saying we are going to force you to do it, particularly sending in federal troops and using federal mechanism," he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines that Americans should wear face-coverings in public this spring.

As of Monday, the United States has recorded more than 3.8 million cases of the novel coronavirus with nearly 141,000 deaths, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Adams also begged Fox News viewers on Monday to cover their faces in public.

"I'm pleading with your viewers, I'm begging you, please understand that we are not trying to take away your freedoms when we say wear a face covering," Adams said on "Fox and Friends."

He added: "We are not trying to take away your ability to go out when we say keep restaurant capacity under 50 percent. We are saying if we do these things, we can actually open and stay open. We can get back to school, to worship, to jobs. We can do this."

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Trump, after months of refusing to wear a coronavirus face mask in public, posted a photo on Twitter Monday of himself wearing a face mask, declaring “There is nobody more Patriotic than me.”

“We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance,” Trump wrote. “There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!”

The photo marked a significant reversal for Trump, who, until earlier this month, has largely rebuffed wearing a mask, much less issuing a nationwide mandate for one.

The president was spotted wearing a mask for the first time while visiting the Walter Reed military hospital on July 11.