After President’s About-Face, NC Republicans Raising Funds on Trump Brand Masks

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By Max Millington

July 23, 2020

But ‘Stay Home NC’ Founder Applauds Trump’s Change on Masks: ‘More People Are Going to Wear Masks Now.’

Just days after President Trump performed an about-face on wearing masks, North Carolina Republicans are hoping to make some cash off of it.

Party leaders moved this week to sell Trump-branded face masks, in bundles of 3 for a contribution of at least $35. The proceeds will go to WinRed, the year-old GOP fundraising platform. 

And, the site claimed, the first 500 supporters would get their own Trump hand sanitizer.  

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It comes after the president tweeted a photo of himself Monday donning a black mask. 

“Many people say that it is patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance,” Trump said in the tweet. “There is nobody more patriotic than me, your favorite president!”

Trump’s turnabout comes, however, after months of downplaying the importance of wearing a face mask, and refusing to wear one himself even as national health officials and state leaders urged the public to do so.

“Once somebody that you know gets it, your mind changes.”

‘Stay Home NC’ Founder Michael Ryan Morgan

Trump was also slow to embrace masks even as national leaders in his party, including Vice President Mike Pence, were increasingly more visible in their support for them. “Arm yourself with a mask,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey told his constituents as the virus spun out of control in his state.

Multiple studies have shown masks to be effective in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus. And Trump changes his position after weeks of polls indicating most in the US and in NC say they support more stringent social distancing orders to contain the potentially deadly virus, which has killed 1,726 North Carolinians and 143,446 Americans.

The NC GOP has not responded to phone or email messages seeking comment. 

But Michael Ryan Morgan, founder of Stay Home NC, a nonpartisan Facebook group of more than 20,000 that advocates for social distance protocols, says he’s “happy more than anything” about Trump’s change of heart.

“More people are going to wear masks now and more people are going to understand that this is a serious issue.”

Since starting the Facebook group, Morgan has seen many, like Trump, change their stance.

“Once somebody that you know gets it, your mind changes,” says Morgan. “And that seems to be happening a lot.”


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