Nobody would accuse Colorado Gov. Jared Polis of being a fashion icon, but he’s hoping to set a new statewide trend by urging Coloradans to start wearing facial masks. The governor donned a colorful cloth face mask festooned with state logos at the end of his Friday press conference as he asked the state’s 5.7 million residents to wear non-medical facial coverings when they leave home to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. “We know that Coloradans across our state are making personal sacrifices to prioritize the public health and safety of their family and neighbors,” said Mr. Polis in a statement. “The better job we do at staying home and wearing facial masks whenever we absolutely must go out to contain the virus in Colorado, the sooner we can return to something resembling economic normalcy. Refusing to stay at home will only extend the state’s economic pain.” The Democrat said the state has partnered with the Colorado Mask Project, which offers instructions on how to make cloth masks at home and asks residents to share photos of themselves with the facial coverings. “Data suggests up to 1 in 4 people infected with COVID are asymptomatic and spreading infected respiratory droplets,” said the state press release. “Masks offer minimal protection for the wearer, but they make a big difference in helping to protect others if a person is infected and doesn’t know it.” The governor’s message came shortly after President Trump announced Friday that the Centers for Disease Control now recommends wearing non-medical facial masks in public, although the president said he didn’t plan to wear one during official functions. The mayors of Los Angeles and New York urged residents Thursday to cover their faces in public with non-medical masks, even though L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said it looks “surreal.” “We’re going to have to get used to seeing each other like this,” Mr. Garcetti said, adding, “This will be the look.” Colorado had more than 4,000 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Friday evening and 111 deaths, with the virus detected in 53 of 64 counties. There were more than 291,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States as of Saturday morning, with 7,847 deaths and 14,368 recovered.
We support the idea of wearing some type of cloth facial covering, like maybe even a scarf, when out in public. But, Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) shouldn’t have worn one while giving his press briefing yesterday. It looked goofy and didn’t inspire. It conveyed weakness for a chief executive. By contrast, Gov. Cuomo (D-NY) and President Trump (R) haven’t worn one during their press briefings. When you’re on camera, optics matter.