Aug 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign starts selling 2020 face masks

President Trump wearing a black face mask with the presidential seal

Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images

The Trump campaign announced it had started selling face masks on Monday, saying President Trump "urges all patriotic Americans to wear a face cover when they are unable to socially distance."

Why it matters: Trump initially refused to wear face masks and called them a "double-edged sword." He also appeared to mock presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for wearing a face mask in public in May.

Between the lines per Axios' Margaret Talev: This gives Trump a prop to try to take credit for the widespread bipartisan use of masks that began before he was advocating for it.

  • To be sure, mask use among his base increased once he belatedly got on board — the campaign figures if his supporters are going to wear a mask anyway it might as well be a billboard for him, and a campaign contribution. 

The other side: The Biden campaign first started selling face masks in late May, CNN reports.

  • The former vice president has taken a different approach to face masks than Trump, calling on governors to issue a three-month mandatory outdoor mask mandate.

Go deeper: The president's pandemic cues

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