Joe Biden Demands Nationwide Mandate Requiring ALL Americans to Wear Masks
Democrat presidential nominee calls for mandatory mask order
Joe Biden is calling for a nationwide mandate to be introduced to force all Americans to wear masks in public, according to reports.
Democratic presidential nominee Biden announced Thursday that he wants every American wearing masks outside their homes until after the November presidential election to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
"Every single American should be wearing a mask when they're outside for the next three months, at a minimum," Biden said during a campaign stop in Wilmington, Delaware.
"Every governor should mandate mask-wearing."
Joining him at the event, Biden's new running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), chimed in saying, "That is what real leadership looks like, we just witnessed real leadership."
However, both Democrats refused to take follow-up questions from reporters regarding their demands.
Former Vice President Biden spoke after sitting down for a briefing on the coronavirus with public health experts, according to Fox News.
"Let’s institute a mask mandate nationwide starting immediately and we will save lives," Biden said.
"The estimates are we will save over 40,000 lives in the next three months if that is done."
And the former vice president stressed that wearing a mask "increases exponentially the prospect that if you are a carrier and you don’t even know it, that you will not infect anyone if you cough, sneeze, sing, shout."
And pointing to the nation's death toll from the coronavirus, Biden said that "a lot of people are dying.
"We’re up over 160,000 people dead so far."
Biden added that "when I get occasionally confronted with a person in public about wearing a mask I say look, this is America, be a patriot.
"Protect your fellow citizens. Protect your fellow citizens.
"Step up. Do the right thing. Do the right thing."
The current death toll in the U.S. stands at just over 166,000 people, with more than 5.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the country.
On Wednesday, there were nearly 56,000 new cases reported and 1,499 deaths from the coronavirus, the highest number of fatalities in a single day since May.
“That’s what real leadership looks like,” Harris said after Biden’s comments on masks.
President Trump has not called for a nationwide mandate.
Last month, the president said he is “a believer in masks” but added that he’s leaving it up to state governors to decide whether or not to implement an order requiring people to wear them in public.
Speaking during an exclusive interview on “Fox News Sunday,” the president deferred to state officials on the issue of masks when questioned by moderator Chris Wallace.
“Everybody who is saying don’t wear a mask – all of sudden everybody’s got to wear a mask, and as you know masks cause problems, too,” Trump said.
“With that being said, I’m a believer in masks. I think masks are good.”
Last month, the president wore a mask in public for the first time during a trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020
Biden -- who for months has repeatedly criticized the president's handling of the coronavirus -- emphasized that "it didn’t have to be this way."
He argued that if the president had acted earlier in responding to the coronavirus, lives would have been saved.
"I hope we learned a lesson. I hope the president has learned a lesson," Biden said.
"But again, this is not about Democrat, Republican, or independent.
"It’s about saving America’s lives."
The president has repeatedly praised his response to the coronavirus - and responding to charges that he downplayed the pandemic at first, Trump points to his ban in early February from incoming flights from China, where the pandemic originated.
Hours before Biden and Harris spoke, the president said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on the Fox Business Network that "we're still in the pandemic, which will be going away, as I say, it will be going away.
"And they scream, 'how you can you say that?'
"I said, 'because it's going to be going away.'"
Biden took two questions from reporters ahead of the coronavirus briefing, but neither the former vice president nor Harris answered questions after making their comments regarding the mask mandate.
The mask mandate was showcased in a TV commercial that the Biden campaign quickly turned around on Thursday.
In the 60 second spot, Biden also calls for increased coronavirus testing, personal protective equipment for all health care workers on the front lines in the battle against the pandemic, and more support for schools and child care programs.
The former vice president also emphasized that “we need to protect the populations most at risk: our seniors - vulnerable populations with preexisting conditions.
"We need real plans, real guidelines with uniformed, nationwide, standards.”
The Biden campaign says the ad will run on TV and digitally in key general election battleground states as part of their weekly buys of $20-24 million.