Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Sunday called for “high-quality masks for every American household” — a call that follows a recent spike in cases of the Chinese coronavirus across the United States.
“Trump denies science. The pandemic spreads. One way to help save lives and prevent illness is for Congress to pass my amendment which calls for the production and distribution of free, high-quality masks for every American household,” Sanders said:
Trump denies science. The pandemic spreads. One way to help save lives and prevent illness is for Congress to pass my amendment which calls for the production and distribution of free, high-quality masks for every American household.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 28, 2020
Sanders’ call comes as several states and localities across the country impose rules requiring face coverings in certain public settings. Several states — including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington — have imposed some version of a mask requirement in recent weeks.
While some state leaders, like Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), have refused to issue statewide mask orders, several localities are taking matters into their own hands. Most recently, the City of Jacksonville, the new home of the GOP’s August convention, is imposing a mask requirement, effective at 5 p.m. EST:
At 5 p.m. today, the City of Jacksonville will be adopting a mandatory mask requirement for public & indoor locations, and in other situations where individuals cannot socially distance.
Please continue to practice personal responsibility to help stop the spread of this virus. pic.twitter.com/dcAuolVMyZ
— City of Jacksonville (COJ) (@CityofJax) June 29, 2020
Officials in Florida’s Palm Beach County announced last week that the county will be sending two reusable masks to every household to help enforce the area’s mask mandate and curb the spread of the virus.
“We want to make sure that every member of this community, no matter where you live, has access to the personal protective equipment that is needed to keep yourself safe and members of the public and community at large safe,” County Mayor Dave Kerner said Friday.
The effort is expected to cost the county $2.5 million.
Meanwhile, Democrat lawmakers have been encouraging Americans to wear masks in public, posting pictures of themselves donning face coverings on social media:
Wear a mask. pic.twitter.com/lejMbH1jjC
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 27, 2020
— Gretchen Whitmer (@gretchenwhitmer) June 28, 2020
— Gary Peters (@GaryPeters) June 28, 2020
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 28, 2020
When asked about the mask mandate in Jacksonville, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the president “encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety.”
“It’s his choice to wear a mask. It’s the personal choice of any individual as to whether to wear a mask or not,” McEnany told reporters on Monday.
“He encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety. But he did say to me he has no problem with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests,” she added.