Winn-Dixie reverses stance on masks immediately after Trump tweet

WHEATON, MARYLAND - APRIL 16: Customers wear face masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus as they line up to enter a Costco Wholesale store April 16, 2020 in Wheaton, Maryland. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered that all people must wear some kind of face mask to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 when on public transportation, grocery stores, retail establishments and other places where social distancing is not always possible. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Last 7 days, Winn-Dixie mentioned it would not need shoppers to don masks in its stores, even right after its opponents declared that they would. But the southern grocery chain altered its thoughts only a couple several hours just after President Donald Trump tweeted that “it is patriotic to wear a encounter mask.”

“Starting Monday, July 27, we will be requiring masks to be worn by buyers to assist lessen the unfold of [Covid-19],” Joe Caldwell, the director of corporate communications and government affairs for Southeastern Grocers — Winn-Dixie’s guardian business — claimed in a assertion, introducing that the organization believes carrying masks in shops should really be mandated by the legislation.

In an email to the Washington Put up, Caldwell denied that the modify in plan experienced to do with the president’s tweet. Caldwell did not react to CNN’s request for comment.

Winn-Dixie operates far more than 500 shops in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi — all states that Donald Trump gained in the 2016 election.

Late final 7 days, Kroger (KR), Kohl’s (KSS), CVS (CVS), Target (TGT), and Walmart (WMT) all announced they would demand prospects to dress in masks in just about every US spot. And the Nationwide Retail Federation, the industry’s premier lobbying group, also termed on corporations to demand masks in their outlets.
But very last weekend, Caldwell called masks a “really billed concern” in an electronic mail to the Washington Put up, all around the exact same time that Florida — in which the vast majority of Southeastern Grocers stores are located — claimed extra than 12,000 more conditions of Covid-19.

“We do not want to set our associates in a situation to navigate interpersonal conflict or prohibit buyers from shopping in our stores,” Caldwell reported.

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