President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign manager, Brad Parscale, tweeted images Thursday of “Keep America Great”-branded face masks.
The irony was not lost on many Twitter users, who pointed out the president persistently dismissed the threat of the coronavirus, leading to a severe outbreak in the United States that has claimed more than 75,000 lives. The production of these promotional masks seems a particularly absurd move given the administration’s failure to help provide adequate personal protective equipment for health care workers and Trump’s own refusal to wear a mask at events despite safety guidelines.
Trump said Thursday he and his staff would be tested daily for coronavirus after a military aide with whom he’d interacted had tested positive for the virus. Parscale said the image of him wearing the mask was shot at the White House “pre-covid results”:
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the campaign was ordering Trump-branded masks in an effort to connect with older voters who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and are increasingly supporting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. These masks would be given away at events in return for donations, the Journal reported.
In a bizarre twist, a similar scenario played out in a February episode of “Saturday Night Live,” in a mocking skit featuring a top administration official proposing “Make America Great Again” masks made in China.
Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence ― whose name was also featured on the mask ― have faced backlash in the past two weeks for not wearing masks in public.
And Parscale, who has been the subject of scrutiny this week for collecting $38.9 million from the president’s reelection committees between January 2017 and the end of March, was criticized for the “grift.”
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on where and when the masks will be made available.
Here’s how Twitter users responded to the new product: