President Donald Trump, who has avoided wearing a mask in public even as the coronavirus pandemic spread, donned one on Saturday (Sunday, July 12, 2020 in Manila) at a military medical facility outside Washington where he was to meet with wounded soldiers and front-line health-care workers, Steve Holland reported for Reuters.

The visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center marked Trump’s first public appearance with a face covering since the virus began sweeping across the United States earlier this year. Trump had previously refused to wear a mask in public or ask other Americans to do so since donning one would make him look weak. Critics said his refusal to wear one showed not only a lack of leadership but also an overdose of ignorance.

“I think when you are in a hospital, especially in that particular setting when you are talking to a lot of soldiers, people that in some cases just got off the operating table, I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask,” Trump told reporters at the White House just before his visit to Walter Reed.

A spokesman for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Trump had spent months ignoring the advice of medical experts and politicizing wearing a mask. “Rather than taking responsibility and leading, he wasted four months that Americans have been making sacrifices by stoking divisions and actively discouraging people from taking a very basic step to protect each other,” said the spokesman, Andrew Bates.