MANILA, Philippines (Updated 8:50 p.m.) — After previously complaining about his N95 "hold-up" mask, President Rodrigo Duterte has apparently ditched the more expensive face protection and demonstrated to the nation late Monday how to wear an ordinary surgical mask properly.
During the first 35 minutes of an hour-long address aired near midnight,the 75-year-old President's face was not covered with the face mask as he was talking about the government's policy on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Officials who were present while the President was delivering his address were noticeably wearing face masks.
In the first 12 minutes, the surgical mask was seen attached to the President's ears although his face was exposed. In the next 24 minutes, the mask is no longer attached to Duterte's ears, It was not clear why the President removed the mask.
As Duterte was reminding the public to wear masks to protect themselves from the virus, someone handed him a surgical mask, prompting him to wear it.
"All that I ask is that you wear a mask, one that's durable. One that is — hindi ‘yung laylay (one that does not fall off). Eh ‘yung iba naka — nakasabit na lang diyan sa ilong ninyo (Sometimes it's barely clinging to your nose). It is not sealed," he said.
Duterte then showed how to wear the surgical mask properly, noting that it should be tight enough to cover the nose of the user. He also reminded the public to wash their hands or use alcohol to avoid contracting viruses that cause illnesses.
During a meeting with the government's COVID-19 task force on April 8, Duterte was wearing an N95 mask, which he said made him look like a robber.
"Ayaw kong gustong magsalita na ganito parang hold-upper (I don't want to talk like this. I look like a hold-up man). But if you interpret it that way, it's really a hold-up talaga ito. Eh hinoldup mo kami sa aming mga pinaghirapan namin o itong mga 'to (You rob us of the things we worked hard to achieve)," Duterte said apparently referring to the COVID-19.
"Hirap akong magsalita. Ang sikip kasi ng... Kasi lahat sila nakamaskara. Mahiya naman ako kasi ang order ko huwag kayong lumabas ng walang maskara. Tapos makikita ninyo lahat sila, ako lang ang hindi (I have difficulty speaking. All of them are wearing masks. I am ashamed because I ordered them not to go out without masks and then they would see me not wearing one)," he added.
Duterte also claimed that the N-95 mask is not for people like him who don't have pronounced nose bridges.
"So naghingi ako diyan sa mga sundalo. Binigyan nila ako...ibinigay nila 'yung para sa mataas na ilong (I asked this from soldiers. They gave me one...this is for people with long noses)," he said.
"Eh p***... Kaya nahuhulog kasi wala akong ilong (B****. It falls off becaus I don't have that nose). Where did you buy this? In America?...You can inhale air and the hole is small...COVID will just enter and exit through my face."