Coronavirus: Doctor criticises 'distressing' lack of face masks at Trump event

An infectious diseases expert has described the lack of face masks at an event attended by President Donald Trump as "depressing, distressing and dumb".

Dr William Schaffner, a professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, was asked to comment on video footage of the Texas event by CNN.

The clip showed Mr Trump and some of his supporters without masks and ignoring social distancing measures during his address at the Double Energy oil rig in Midland on Wednesday.

Dr Schaffner said the clip was "the three d's - depressing, distressing, and as we say in our family, d-u-m, dumb. That's just inappropriate".

He continued: "It shows exactly the opposite of what all those people ought to be modelling.

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"We should be wearing masks, all of us all the time. We're not going to get this virus under control until we all do that. And I mean all of us - from the top to the bottom, from Maine to southern California, all across the country. We really have to do that."

CNN's Erin Burnett agreed, replying: ″It doesn't make sense. A lot of those people are pretty bright people. I just don't understand it. It is nonsensical."

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Texas, along with California and Florida, has seen a record rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths over the past month.

There have been 422,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, along with 6,831 deaths.

It also became one of the nation's hotspots as Texas politicians debated masks and other measures.

Meanwhile, the US has confirmed a total of 4.51 million COVID-19 cases, while 153,000 people have died with the virus across the country.