President Donald Trump on Wednesday hinted that a rule on wearing masks in federal buildings—including the White House—could be coming within the next 24 hours. The president made the remarks during a short press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic that frequently veered from the American outbreak to his decision to send federal law enforcement into Democrat-run cities. “We’re gonna make a decision over the next 24 hours,” Trump said in response to a question about Washington, D.C.’s mask order, which does not affect federal property. But Trump, a longtime skeptic of the efficacy of masks to prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus, put the responsibility for mask orders on the shoulders of state governors when asked whether he supported their use nationwide.
“It’s really going to ultimately be up to them,” Trump said. “They have their own facts. Some are strong on masks, some aren’t.” The president was more inclined to exercise federal authority in the use of Department of Homeland Security agents to arrest protesters in cities like Chicago and Portland, however, saying that despite pushback from Democratic mayors, “in their own way, they want us to go in.”