Michael Steele, a former RNC chairman, said Republican leaders have hardened their position on masks simply because the virus is infecting “the heart of their base, which we all knew it would.”

Residents in so-called red states, Steele said, “don’t have superpowers and aren’t somehow immune from the ravages of covid-19. That’s why it was paramount for the president to be the voice of leadership here, not to undermine the scientists, not to berate the Dr. Faucis of the world. And now Fox says the president should set a good example and put on a mask. Really, now? After 120,000 deaths? After a million-plus people get infected?”…

When Trump travels Friday to South Dakota to participate in an Independence Day fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore, masks will be available but not required, and there will be no social distancing.

“We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we won’t be social distancing,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) said Monday on Fox News.