Evers expects Trump to wear mask during visit next week

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Thursday that he expects President Donald Trump and his entourage to wear masks indoors and social distance when Trump visits Oshkosh for a rally next week.

Evers, a Democrat, issued a statewide mask mandate in July to combat rising coronavirus infections. Nearly 70% of respondents in a Marquette University Law School poll released Tuesday agreed that masks should be required in all public places, although Democrats were more supportive of the mandate than Republicans.

Trump had been reluctant to wear a mask for months but has shifted his stance over the last few weeks in the face of rising infections across the country and is now encouraging their use if people can't socially distance.

The governor told reporters during a teleconference on Thursday that he expects Trump and others to wear masks Monday when they’re inside buildings and stay 6 feet apart.

“That’s our expectation as a state," Evers said. “We can’t afford for these events to make it more difficult for us to prevent the virus from being transmitted in the state of Wisconsin."

The president's visit will coincide with the beginning of the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. The convention will be mostly virtual after presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden decided not to travel to Milwaukee to accept the nomination out of fear of the virus.

Evers is scheduled to speak Wednesday at the convention. He said everyone will wear masks and social distance, but he didn't think an audience would be physically present except for reporters.