The city of Jacksonville where mask-averse President Donald Trump plans to accept the Republican nomination in August, ordered the wearing of face coverings, joining the list of state and local governments reversing course to try to beat back a resurgence of the coronavirus.
Less than a week after Mayor Lenny Curry said that there would be no mask requirement, city officials announced that coverings must be worn in “situations where individuals cannot socially distance.”
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said the president’s advice is to “do whatever your local jurisdiction requests of you.”
Trump has refused to wear a mask on recent trips to states and businesses that require them.
In recent weeks, the Republicans moved some of the convention pageantries to Jacksonville after Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina objected to the holding of a large gathering in Charlotte without social-distancing measures.
The Jacksonville order came on the same day that the head of the World Health Organization warned that the pandemic is “not even close to being over” and is accelerating.
“The worst is yet to come,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu. “With this kind of environment and condition, we fear the worst.”
Health authorities have recorded more than 10 million confirmed infections and a half-million deaths globally, including 2.5 million cases and 126,000 lives lost in the United States. The U.S. is seeing a surge in confirmed cases, especially in the South and West, with about 40,000 per day.
Experts say the actual numbers, both in the U.S. and globally, are probably far higher, in part because of testing limitations and a large number of people without symptoms.
Places such as Texas, Florida, and California are backtracking, closing beaches and bars in some cases, and ordering the wearing of masks.
Elsewhere around the world, India set another record with a one-day total of 20,000 newly confirmed infections. Several Indian states reimposed partial or full lockdowns after the total number of cases jumped by nearly 100,000 in one week to about 548,000.
The European Union is preparing a list of 15 countries whose citizens will be allowed to visit the bloc beginning Wednesday, Spain’s foreign minister, Arancha Gonzalez Laya, told the Cadena SER radio network. Because of the resurgence in the U.S., America may not be on that list.
“This is not an exercise to be nice or unfriendly to other countries. This is an exercise of self-responsibility,” she said.
Florida site of GOP convention orders wearing of masks