Amid the continued novel coronavirus outbreak, a number of world leaders have been pictured lately with out sporting a masks in public of their respective international locations.
The leaders who’ve chosen to not put on facial coverings embody the presidents of the U.S., Russia and Brazil (the three nations with the present highest variety of instances on the planet) in addition to China (the place the virus was first reported), amongst different international locations.
President Donald Trump has been picturedly many occasions with out sporting a facial masking in public, including this week during a visit to a Ford car factory in Michigan that is been transformed to provide ventilators and private protecting tools, whereas different Ford executives had been sporting masks.
The firm was reported to have notified Trump previous to his go to that he ought to put on a masks on the manufacturing facility.
“Bill Ford [executive chairman of Ford] encouraged President Trump to wear a mask when he arrived. He wore a mask during a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years. The President later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit,” in accordance with a statement from Ford.
Trump claimed he wore a masks out of the view of cameras. “I had one on before. I wore one in the back area. I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” he informed reporters.
Chinese President Xi Jinping was pictured Friday and not using a masks as he arrived on the opening session of China’s National People’s Congress on the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the Chinese capital. The president was greeted by a number of authorities officers who had been sporting masks.
Jinping was additionally pictured and not using a masks Thursday as he kicked off the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the place most others in attendance had been reported to have been sporting masks whereas standing shut to one another.
While the outbreak was claimed to have been largely contained in China, with out lockdown measures eased from April, fears over a second wave of instances have been looming.
New clusters of instances had been reported in latest weeks, together with in Wuhan, the Chinese metropolis the place the first-ever confirmed case of the novel coronavirus was reported. New lockdown measures were introduced in parts of the country, together with in Shulan within the Jilin province of northeast China.
Dr. Zhong Nanshan, the 83-year-old epidemiologist and senior medical adviser to the Chinese authorities who is understood for serving to to combat the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003, warned final Sunday:
“The majority of Chinese at the moment are still susceptible [to] the COVID-19 infection, because [of] a lack of immunity. We are facing [a] big challenge, it’s not better than the foreign countries I think at the moment,” he informed CNN final Sunday.
Earlier this week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in was additionally seen and not using a masks on May 18 whereas giving a speech at a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the Gwangju Uprising, which noticed a mass demonstration in opposition to army dictator Chun Doo-hwan on the time.
The nation was recognized for having managed to include the virus by strong testing throughout the nation. But the nation has reported a new outbreak of cases after a 29-year-old man visited a number of nightclubs and bars in Itaewon, a neighborhood within the South Korean capital of Seoul, earlier than testing constructive for the virus.
The “rate of spread is very high,” Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon stated final week, with at the very least 36 % of the instances reported to be asymptomatic on the time.
In neighboring North Korea, the nation’s chief Kim Jong-un was additionally seen and not using a masks on the opening of a fertilizer manufacturing facility simply north of the North Korean capital Pyongyang, in accordance with pictures launched by state media.
While new instances emerge in North Korea’s neigboring international locations of China and South Korea, each of which suffered an explosion of infections within the wake of the outbreak, the country continues to deny any cases have been confirmed in North Korea.
The newest state of affairs report printed Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO) stated North Korea registered no instances of COVID-19.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who lately recovered from COVID-19 an infection, was additionally pictured and not using a masks on his approach to work on a number of events this month.
The U.Ok. at the moment has the second-highest loss of life toll on the planet and fourth highest variety of confirmed instances, as of Friday, in accordance with the most recent figures from Johns Hopkins University.
The nation has begun easing some lockdown restrictions earlier this month and has claimed earlier this week that deaths had been reducing.
A spokesperson for Johnson stated: “Deaths in all settings including care homes are falling…but we need to do all we can to continue to protect the most vulnerable in our care homes,” the place the variety of deaths had been reported to have exceeded 10,000, as of May 8, Reuters stories.
Both Russian President Vladmir Putin in addition to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had been seen with out masks throughout World War II memorials ceremonies of their respective international locations earlier this month.
Russia at the moment has the second-highest variety of instances on the planet, with over 317,500 infections. Last week reported a daily case count of more than 10,000 for 10 consecutive days, together with a document 11,656 instances reported final Monday, the best day by day case rely for the reason that outbreak started.
Germany has the fifth-highest variety of instances in Europe, and eighth-highest on the planet, as of Friday, in accordance with the most recent figures from Johns Hopkins University.
Earlier this month, Merkel urged residents to comply with social distancing measures and put on facial coverings, after many residents had been reported to haven’t been adhering to restrictions, together with the requirement to put on masks in supermarkets.
Merkel urged: “Keep your distance, and wear mouth and nose protection. Respect each other. This is very important.”
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been seen not sporting a masks on varied events, together with final month when he reportedly shook palms with locals and hugged individuals whereas assembly supporters, the Associated Press reported.
Earlier this month he was additionally seen sporting a masks whereas addressing the general public. But he continued to disregard social distancing guidelines, surrounded by ministers, approaching supporters and posing for pictures with youngsters, Reuters stories.
The nation has the third-highest variety of instances on the planet and Bolsonaro has beforehand downplayed the severity of the outbreak and the nation misplaced two well being ministers who left their positions after clashing with the president over the nation’s COVID-19 response.
Earlier this month, the Brazilian chief demanded former well being minister Nelson Teich concern federal tips for the early use of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug but to be confirmed for its effectiveness in preventing the novel coronavirus.
George Gao, director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention beforehand warned not sporting masks is a “big mistake.”
“The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role—you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth,” Gao informed Science journal on the finish of March.
“Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others,” he added.
Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued recommendation stating it “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”
“CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others,” it added.
Back in early April, WHO suggested: “Potential advantages of the use of mask by healthy people in the community setting include reducing potential exposure risk from infected person during the “pre-symptomatic” period and stigmatization of individuals wearing mask for source control.”
“The wide use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risks,” it stated.
WHO added that native authorities ought to “apply a risk-based approach” in terms of deciding whether or not masks ought to be worn of their respective areas, equivalent to the danger of publicity and the extent of vulnerability within the inhabitants of the world, among several other factors.
Newsweek has contacted WHO, CDC, the White House in addition to the respective authorities workplaces for the world leaders of the aforementioned international locations for a remark.
The novel coronavirus has contaminated greater than 5.1 million individuals throughout the globe. Over 333,000 have died whereas greater than 1.9 million have reportedly recovered from an infection, as of Friday, in accordance with the most recent figures from Johns Hopkins University.
The graphic beneath, supplied by Statista, illustrates international locations with essentially the most confirmed COVID-19 instances.