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Via Twitter

President Trump posted a photo of himself wearing a face mask on Monday and tweeted that "many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance."

Why it matters: It's the first time Trump has ever tweeted a picture of himself in a mask, which he had not worn in public until he visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center earlier this month.

  • Trump told Fox News' Chris Wallace in an interview broadcast Sunday that he will not consider a national mask mandate because he wants Americans to have "a certain freedom," adding: "I don't agree with the statement that if everybody wear a mask everything disappears."
  • The president also told Axios last month that he believes masks are a "double-edged sword" and appeared to mock his opponent Joe Biden for wearing a mask in public as recently as May.

What he's tweeting: "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. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!"

The big picture: After months of a partisan debate over wearing masks, two-thirds of Americans — and a noticeably increasing number of Republicans — now say they’re wearing a face mask whenever they leave the house, according to the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

  • Scientific evidence shows face masks can help control the spread of the coronavirus, but the nuances and changes in messaging about their use have complicated public health efforts.
  • The changing attitudes on masks come as coronavirus infections surge across much of the country, threatening to overwhelm hospital systems in Republican-led states like Florida, Arizona and Texas.
  • CDC director Robert Redfield has said the coronavirus outbreak could be "under control" within four to eight weeks if everyone in the U.S. wore masks.

Go deeper: Four months into the pandemic, a consensus is finally emerging on masks

Go deeper

Oct 27, 2020 - World

Putin mandates face masks as Russia combats second COVID-19 wave

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday instituted a nationwide mask mandate, as the nation tries to combat a second spike of COVID-19 cases, according to an order published by Rospotrebnadzor, the federal health watchdog agency.

By the numbers: Russia currently has the fourth-most coronavirus cases in the world, with 1,537,142, according to Johns Hopkins data, behind the U.S., India and Brazil. Russia has reported 26,092 deaths to date.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated Oct 27, 2020 - Economy & Business

Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, with cold weather arriving before even the best-case scenario for a widely distributed vaccine. Now we're also beginning to see an increase in coronavirus-related startup funding, focused on both testing and pharma.

Driving the news: Gauss, a Silicon Valley computer vision startup focused on health care, tells Axios that it's raised $10 million to accelerate development and commercialization of an at-home rapid antigen test for COVID-19.

Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.