The official U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has now topped 128,000, with nearly 2.7 million confirmed cases — the worst levels in the world, by far, though public health officials say both figures are significant undercounts. On Wednesday, President Trump once again claimed the coronavirus would soon “disappear.”
President Donald Trump: “And I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”
Trump, who has repeatedly refused to wear a mask in public, said, “I’m all for masks, I think masks are good” — but said he doubted a national mandate is needed.
This comes as a new study by the Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs found a federal mask mandate could slow the rate of coronavirus infection and prevent new lockdowns, avoiding a 5% drop in gross domestic product worth a staggering $1 trillion to the U.S. economy.
On Wednesday, Pennsylvania’s health secretary signed an order requiring all state residents to wear masks in public spaces.