A new political advertisement for President Trump includes several video clips of him wearing a mask while a narrator praises his administration’s coronavirus response.
“Joe Biden has no real plan to defeat the coronavirus. Just criticize, complain and surrender,” the television spot begins, according to advertising tracker AdMo. “When President Trump shut down traveled to China, Biden attacked him.”
The ad then pivots, showing several short videos of Trump walking through various medical facilities, wearing a mask, with a team of doctors and aides at his side.
“President Trump is leading attacking the virus head on, developing a vaccine in record time,” the narrator declares. “Rebuilding our economy under President Trump Way will be careful, but resolute.”
Trump, who initially downplayed the efficacy on masks, was diagnosed with coronavirus earlier this month and has since recovered, White House doctors say.
The president sparked backlash when he removed a mask he was wearing as he left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was receiving treatment for symptoms related to the virus, before walking into the White House.
Leading U.S. health officials agree mask wearing and social distancing are the two most effective ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“These face masks are the most important and powerful public health tool we have,” Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Congress earlier this year. “And I will continue to appeal to all individuals in this country to embrace these face coverings. If we did it eight, 10, 12 weeks, we’d bring this pandemic under control. We have clear scientific evidence they work and they are our best defense.”
Trump has broken with the CDC and members of his own coronavirus task force fighting the pandemic on several occasions.
At the same time, he has also sought to capitalize on the public’s trust in the word of the nation’s leading scientists; a Trump campaign ad released last week showed Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, saying “nobody could have done more” to control the virus in America than Trump.
Fauci later pushed back on that ad, saying he felt the Trump campaign was “harassing” him.
Trump has also mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for wearing “the biggest mask you’ve ever seen” during the first presidential debate late last month, just days before the president was diagnosed with COVID-19.