Public health officials want everyone to stay safe, stick with the social distancing and control Covid-19 and, while some people just simply won’t wear masks, others are adding teeth to what previously were polite mask requests. Airlines are getting more serious about enforcing mask requirements. United could restrict people who won’t wear masks from future flights. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may require lawmakers to wear masks during committee hearings. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, wants to bring people together in a large enclosed space, mask optional. He’s bragged that more than 1 million people have RSVP’d to attend his first major campaign rally since the Covid-19 outbreak, which is planned for Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Never mind that the Bank of Oklahoma Center, the indoor arena where the rally will be held, holds a little more than 19,000. Trump’s campaign said Monday that attendees would have their temperature checked and be offered a face mask, but there won’t be any mandate that they wear it. And if the throngs of Trump’s most die-hard supporters take his example, they won’t do it. Reminder: The RSVP included a disclaimer that states attendees acknowledge the “inherent risk of exposure to Covid-19 exists in any public place where people are present” and agree not to hold the Trump campaign liable for illness or injury that results from attending the event. All of this is complicated by the fact that Trump is a well-documented germaphobe. His disparagement of masks by refusing to wear one is further contradicted by his own White House’s treatment of the Covid threat: staffers are required to wear masks (except when the cameras are rolling), daily temperature checks are required, and quick Covid tests are required of anyone in close proximity to Trump. Research shows masks work Now read this from CNN’s medical team, which summarizes a new study that suggests masks are the single best way to stop the spread of Covid-19: A team of researchers in Texas and California compared Covid-19 infection rate trends in Italy and New York both before and after face masks were made mandatory. Both locations started to see infection rates flatten only after mandatory face mask measures were put in place, according to the study published Thursday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers calculated that wearing face masks prevented more than 78,000 infections in Italy between April 6 and May 9, and more than 66,000 infections in New York City between April 17 and May 9. Masks = freedom! US Surgeon General Jerome Adams tried to appeal to people’s sense of freedom to get them to wear masks. “Some feel face coverings infringe on their freedom of choice- but if more wear them, we’ll have MORE freedom to go out,” he said on Twitter, with a photo of himself in a mask. “Face coverings ➡️ less asymptomatic viral spread ➡️ more places open, and sooner! “ You don’t have to go to a Trump rally in an enclosed space (outdoors would be better!) to find people ignoring the federal guidelines (some state and local governments require it!) that people wear face masks where other social distancing measures are impossible (the grocery store, for instance). New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said revelers in Manhattan and the Hamptons are endangering their fellow New Yorkers. The state’s gotten more than 25,000 complaints of businesses violating distance rules and he’s sent a task force of inspectors out to keep bars and restaurants in check. “We are not kidding around with this,” he said. “You’re talking about jeopardizing people’s lives.” Related: The psychology behind why some people won’t wear masks The guidelines (even for a Trump rally) Wolf Blitzer asked Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, about the President’s rally during an appearance on “The Situation Room” last week. BLITZER: Have you told President Trump himself that this rally and other huge gatherings like this potentially could be very dangerous and risky? FAUCI: I have not specifically spoken to him about that. But the principles that I have been espousing hold true and stand, as I have said them before. When you’re in a large crowd, if you have the congregation of people that are much, much close to each other, you definitely increase the risk that you will either acquire or spread infections. And I have said there are some people that are going to do that anyway, no matter what I say. But the issue is, if they do, please wear a mask all the time, because a mask will give you some protection. The best thing to do is to avoid crowded areas. But if you’re not going to do that, please wear a mask. If you feel like you haven’t seen as much of Fauci recently, you haven’t. The President’s Covid-19 task force no longer holds daily briefings, and even when it did, he wasn’t often featured toward the end. He was on CNN last week and on Sunday his comments came to us from a British newspaper, The Telegraph, which asked when we’d see a return to normalcy. “It’s going to be really wait and see,” he said. “My feeling, looking at what’s going on with the infection rate, I think it’s more likely measured in months rather than weeks,” he said. A return to true normalcy could be a year off, he said. In a separate interview, with The Street, Fauci addressed the confusing early recommendation (which will and should be explained) by the US government to tell the public not to wear masks. Here’s what he said: “Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply. And we wanted to make sure that the people namely, the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected.” Covid cases jump Florida had 819 new cases on May 4, when it began to reopen. This past Saturday, as beaches in Miami reopened, there was a new record high of daily infections 2,581. Eighteen states, including the entire South and most of the West Coast, saw an increase in daily cases over the past week compared to the week before. Look in particular at jumps in Texas and Oregon and the warning of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego that her city’s hospital capacity is in danger. “We have had so many of the records you don’t want to be hitting for Covid-19 from my perspective. We opened much too early and so our hospitals are really struggling,” Gallego said during a panel discussion last week. The number of US cases rocketed past 2 million and the number of deaths now exceeds 115,000, but Americans, taking Trump’s cue, seem more intent on opening up than staying apart. “I think they’re just a bunch of folks who are done with the pandemic. The problem is the pandemic is not done with us,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, after being shown video of the party-like atmosphere in New York over the weekend.