New Delhi: US President Donald Trump, who has time and again refused to put on a face mask since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, finally had it on for the first time in public, as he visited a military hospital outside Washington, DC, to meet health care workers and wounded soldiers. Also Read - 'Victim of Russia Hoax': Trump Commutes Prison Term of 'Longtime Friend' Robert Stone

Trump, who faces Democrat Joe Biden in November’s Presidential polls, had on a dark mask featuring the presidential seal as he strode through the corridors of the Walter Reed military hospital. Also Read - Harvard, MIT File Lawsuit Against Trump Administration Over Visa Row For Foreign Students

“I’ve never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place”, local media quoted Trump as saying as he left the White House for the military hospital. Also Read - 'China Caused Great Damage to US': Trump Sharpens Attack on Beijing Again Over COVID-19

“I think that when you’re in a hospital, especially in a situation like this, when you are talking to a lot of soldiers and a lot of people, who have just been off the operating table, it’s a great thing to wear a mask”, he said later.

Notably, Trump has, in the past, remarked that ‘I just don’t see myself wearing a mask as I meet Presidents, Prime Ministers, dictators, kings, queens etc’. He has also gone to the extent of mocking Biden for putting on a mask.

Reports earlier this week claimed that the President’s aides had practically ‘begged’ him to relent and put on face mask in public as number of coronavirus cases continue to surge and Trump trails Biden badly in opinion polls ahead of the election.

The US is the worst-hit country in the world with a total of 33.5 lakh positive cases. This includes nearly 17 lakh active cases, 15 lakh recoveries and 1.3 lakh fatalities.