Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) briefly lowered his mask to uncover his mouth and coughed in his hand while delivering a speech in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday.
Biden stumped in Las Vegas on Friday, speaking to both Latino leaders and holding a drive-in rally. During a stump speech that day, Biden, whose nose was already exposed as he spoke, adjusted his mask, briefly exposed his mouth, and proceeded to cough in his hand:
You can't make this up.
Joe Biden just removed his mask to cough in his hand.
Talk about unsanitary! pic.twitter.com/4rwJvHA3LS
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 9, 2020
Biden has continued in his efforts to promote universal masking, routinely encouraging Americans on social media to wear a face covering.
He has suggested on more than one occasion that he would implement a nationwide mask mandate as president. However, he has also flip-flopped on that call.
“Let’s institute a mask mandate nationwide,” he said during a virtual briefing in August.
“Every single American should be wearing a mask when they are outside for the next three months at a minimum,” Biden continued, stating that “every governor should mandate mandatory mask-wearing.”
He repeated his call during his Democratic National Convention nomination acceptance speech, promising, “We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask.”
Weeks later, Biden shifted positions, admitting that there remains a “constitutional issue whether the federal government can issue such a mandate.”
“I don’t think constitutionally they could, so I wouldn’t issue a mandate,” he said.
Days later, Biden reiterated that he “cannot mandate people wearing masks” but said he would enforce the order on federal land.
“And we could have a fine for them not doing it. Look, this is about saving people’s lives. There’s no question that it saves people’s lives,” he added.
But then, just this week, Biden said that he would, as president, “implement nationwide mask mandates”:
As president, I will:
– Implement nationwide mask mandates
– Ensure access to regular, reliable, and free testing
– Accelerate the development of treatments and vaccines
I won’t waste any time getting this virus under control.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 7, 2020
Despite his insistence on universal mask-wearing, Biden has been spotted on the campaign trail without a mask on at least two occasions:
While leaving the site of tonight’s CNN Town Hall, Joe Biden made an impromptu stop to talk to some firefighters. “No one has any idea what you all do, it’s amazing. I mean, you’re the only crazy SOBs who run into it,” he said. pic.twitter.com/UyWbfA5NQV
— Sarah Mucha (@sarahmucha) September 18, 2020
He also added that when it comes to his support with Hispanic his numbers “are much higher” than Trump’s. pic.twitter.com/6WYExKTb5d
— Beatrice-Elizabeth Peterson (@MissBeaE) September 14, 2020