The video has been viewed more than 20 million times.
“While face masks don’t lower your oxygen levels. Covid definitely does,” he warned.
Yet trusted medical authorities are often being dismissed by those who say requiring people to wear masks is a step toward authoritarianism.
“Unless you make a stand, you will be wearing a mask for the rest of your life," tweeted Simon Dolan, a British businessman who has sued the government over its Covid-19 restrictions.
Trump’s reluctant, ambivalent and late embrace of masks hasn’t convinced some of his strongest supporters, who have concocted ever more elaborate theories to explain his change of heart.
Some say he was actually speaking in code and doesn’t really support masks.
Dr. Maitiu O Tuathail witnessed just how unshakable Covid-19 misinformation can be when, after broadcasting his video, he received emails from people who said he cheated or didn’t wear the mask long enough to feel the negative effects.
That’s not surprising, according to the University of Central Florida Psychology Professor Chrysalis Wright, who studies misinformation.
She said conspiracy theory believers often engage in mental gymnastics to make their beliefs conform with reality.
“People only want to hear what they already think they know,” she said.
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