WASHINGTON — President Trump says people can “wear a scarf” over their face if they want to avoid catching the coronavirus.

“You know, you can use a scarf,” Trump said Tuesday at a White House press conference. “A lot of people have scarves. And you can use a scarf. A scarf would be very good.”

Trump said Monday he would “take a look” at former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s recommendation that people consider wearing masks. But Tuesday, Trump said White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci told him not to encourage widespread mask use.

“We’re making millions and millions of masks. But we want them to go to the hospitals. I mean, one of the things that Dr. Fauci told me today is we don’t want them competing — we don’t want everybody competing with the hospitals, where we really need them,” Trump said.

Authorities including Surgeon General Jerome Adams previously said ordinary people should not wear masks because they are not effective due to improper use. Critics said officials should be honest that scarcity drove that guidance.

In some areas, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, universal mask-wearing in public is credited with avoiding large-scale outbreaks.

Trump said Tuesday he remained open-minded about mask wearing.

“My feeling is, if people want to do it, there is certainly no harm to it,” Trump said. “But I would say do it, but use a scarf if you want, rather than going out and getting a mask or whatever.”

Trump added: “So you can use scarves, you can use something else over your face. It doesn’t have to be a mask, but it’s not a bad idea, at least for a period of time.”

There are about 185,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the US, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracking project. Nearly 4,000 of those people died.

Source: nypost.com/feed