Until earlier this month, organizations and other entities around the world encouraged people who weren't experiencing symptoms of the virus to abstain from buying face masks in order to save them for health professionals interacting with infected people every day.
As more information about the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers became available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the White House amended their recommendations, advising Americans to wear makeshift face masks when in public places.
As new reporting from the Washington Post reveals, the White House got a significant head start on that order.
Long before the April 3 recommendation for Americans to begin wearing masks, the White House was scrambling to secure masks for themselves.
Near the end of February, Surgeon General Jerome Adams urged the public not to purchase masks.
Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catchingâ�¦ https://t.co/6oEg8qlu5E— U.S. Surgeon General (@U.S. Surgeon General)1582978123.0
Around the same time, Trump assured the public that the virus would disappear. This dismissal and discouragement of mask use continued until April 3.
But as early as March 14, top White House officials were concerned that the White House didn't have enough masks. As fears about the shortage worsened with the growing pandemic, government officials secured a donation of hundreds of thousands of masks from Taiwan, some of which went to the White House staff.
For nearly a month, the White House would continue to advise against the use of masks.
Trump himself resisted amending the recommendations to advocate for public use of masks, causing a schism between his officials and the health experts in the administration. The President said in the announcement of the new recommendations that he wouldn't be wearing a mask himself.
People found the White House hypocritical for urging the public not to wear masks while also rushing to secure masks for its own officials.
Trump's oft-repeated "America First" slogan rang hollow.
Well, looky here. Masks for senior White House officials, but not for us ordinary Americans. Something very, very wâ�¦ https://t.co/R3JrNH0rzo— Maureen (@Maureen)1586981997.0
Now, which party are the elites again? Do all American lives have value or just politically appointed ones? https://t.co/umWNaK2NsD— James Common (@James Common)1586979460.0
Now we know what Jared Kushner meant when he said "our" stockpile. https://t.co/SiDfpWjcjr— Jo Anne Davis (@Jo Anne Davis)1586980953.0
Obscene. https://t.co/1VViUbv77L— Cynthia Lazarus (@Cynthia Lazarus)1586975131.0
Infuriating. Itâ��s good that the WH was taking steps to protect essential staff. But they shouldnâ��t have been downplâ�¦ https://t.co/qwkLwCrbJ4— Matthew Miller (@Matthew Miller)1586974776.0
Sadly, people weren't surprised at the Trump administration's dangerous self-interest.
Of course they were... If you don't vote for Biden you are a POS. https://t.co/JR17VOE70h— ð���ð��¢ð��¦ "Stay the F*$K Home " ð���ð��²ð���ð��¨ð��§ ð���ð��� (@ð���ð��¢ð��¦ "Stay the F*$K Home " ð���ð��²ð���ð��¨ð��§ ð���ð���)1586979032.0
No surprise - they are horrible! https://t.co/5JnrgEStI0— katieRN (@katieRN)1586975256.0
Of course they did https://t.co/A3Xgdwtn8K— Stephan Barr (@Stephan Barr)1586974843.0
Because of course. ð���ð��¡ https://t.co/XfXxSnIHgA— Thomas Johnson (@Thomas Johnson)1586974907.0
For a deeper look into Trump's ineptitude, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.