Chris Wallace urged Fox News viewers to ‘forget the politics’ and ‘wear the damn mask’

Chris Wallace directs the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images
  • “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace urged viewers on Friday to “wear the damn mask” after President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Wallace, who moderated the first presidential debate this past Tuesday, noted that the first family took off their masks, going against the strict guidelines in place at the debate.
  • “If I could say one thing to all of the people out there watching – forget the politics,” Wallace said. “This is a public safety health issue.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Days after moderating the first presidential debate and hours after President Donald Trump announced he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus, Fox News host Chris Wallace urged viewers on Friday evening to “wear the damn mask and follow the science.”

Wallace stressed that wearing a mask is “not a political issue, it’s a public health issue.”

“If I could say one thing to all of the people out there watching — forget the politics,” Wallace said. “This is a public safety health issue.”

Wallace said that under the advice of his doctor, he is currently waiting “until next Monday” to get tested for the coronavirus, as he was told that infections would need “four or five days” for a “definitive positive test.” Under this timeline, Wallace said he thinks Trump was infected with the virus during last week’s debate.

Speaking on the president’s health, Wallace said that “we all hope and pray that he gets better quickly, but he is a 74-year-old man and I am 72, [Democratic presidential nominee] Biden’s 77. We’re all in the most vulnerable group.”

“We don’t know how this illness is going to evolve,” Wallace added.

Wallace pointed out the different ways Trump and Biden have approached campaigning during the coronavirus pandemic. He said Trump has “been out without a mask” and “holding these big rallies” that were “without masks in many cases” with “no social distancing.”

Trump has frequently defied the advice of health officials and continued to host large in-person rallies since the pandemic emerged earlier this year. After a large indoor rally in Nevada that defied state coronavirus rules in early September, he boasted that “we had great rallies this past weekend, after the Governor of Nevada worked very hard to cancel all of our venues.”

Wallace said, on the other hand, former vice president Joe Biden has “been much more cautious, wearing a mask, much smaller events, oftentimes people have to wear masks.” He pointed out that in the debate on Tuesday, Trump “mocked Joe Biden” on wearing a mask.

Wallace also said that despite the strict rules at the debate where only the two candidates and himself were allowed to not wear a mask, the first family “came in wearing masks but they took them off” and even has the Cleveland Clinic officials offered them a mask, they “waved them away.”