Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has vowed that, if elected, he will mandate masks for all interstate travel.
In a speech from Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday, Biden attempted to drive home his message that masks will save lives amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Biden stated, “First, I’ll go to every governor and urge them to mandate mask-wearing in their states, and if they refuse, I’ll go to the mayors and county executives and get local mask requirements in place nationwide.”
“As president, I will mandate mask-wearing in all federal buildings and all interstate transportation because masks save lives — period,” he also said.
Biden, who sported a mask to start Thursday’s debate with President Donald Trump, added, “Wearing masks is not a political statement, it is a scientific imperative.”
Biden has previously called for a nationwide mask mandate for anyone who leaves their home.
The former vice president’s comments from Friday are essentially a vow to follow newly-released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mask guidelines, which in some cases, might require persons to wear masks while driving their own cars, according to Reuters.
“The interim CDC guidance urges facial coverings at transportation hubs like airports and train stations, saying masks ‘will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel more safely even during this pandemic,’” it said.
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The Trump administration has refused to nationally mandate the wearing of masks, opting instead to allow such decisions to be made at state and municipal levels.
The issue of masks and the pandemic was a heavy topic for conversation at the debate Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee.
Comments from both candidates gave voters an insight into each man’s outlook on the ongoing pandemic.
At one point, when arguing to end lockdowns of schools and businesses, Trump argued that the country can protect vulnerable populations while getting back to a sense of normality.
“We’re learning to live with it,” Trump said.
“We have no choice. We can’t lock ourselves up in a basement.”
“We have to recover. … We can’t close up our nation, or you’re not going to have a nation,” Trump stated.
Biden, on the other hand, called for more mask enforcement while criticizing the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, and carried a tone which many debate viewers perceived as pessimistic.
“Learning to live with it? Come on,” Biden said.
“We’re dying with it.”
“Learning to live with it? Come on. We’re dying with it.”
— CNN (@CNN) October 23, 2020
The Democrat also didn’t rule out supporting more lockdowns and said he would defer such a decision to advisors.
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