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Pelosi Wants CDC to Mandate Everyone Wear Masks Amidst Uptick in Cases

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Pelosi Wants CDC to Mandate Everyone Wear Masks Amidst Uptick in Cases

2020-06-29 17:54:16

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Nancy Pelosi (Image source Screenshot)

With an uptick in COVID-19 cases throughout many states, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is calling for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mandate the wearing of masks.

On Sunday she told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC News's "This Week" that such a mandate is "long overdue," with some state governors asking for a consistent national message with the rise in cases after many states started the reopening process.

Pelosi noted that the CDC recommended that people wear masks to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, but she believes they never mandated it so as to "not offend" Donald Trump. He has repeatedly refused to wear masks and has not required it at campaign rallies he has held since relaunching his campaign.

"The president should be an example. Real men wear masks, be an example to the country, wear a mask," said the speaker. "It's not about protecting yourself; it's about protecting others."

On Friday, COVID-19 cases surged in the United States by more than 45,000, breaking records. This brought the total cases in the country to 2.5 million, according to John Hopkins University.

On Sunday Mike Pence answered a question of the possibility of a federal mandate to wear masks by saying people should listen to state and local officials. He said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that "every state has a unique situation" and "we believe people should wear masks wherever social distancing is not possible."

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) was asked on "This Week" if Trump should be doing more to set an example regarding mask-wearing and said there should be a "consistent national message" to do so.

"You can have two messages at the same time. Your message is, let's grow our economy, but let's also have the message of social distancing, protecting ourself and others from the virus," said the governor who has seen a seven-day average in his state's cases increase by 36 percent.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, has said if he is elected in November, he would require masks to be worn in public.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) criticizes Trump for his "damaging" tweets and for not providing a "message of health" to Americans. "Instead of tweeting the other day about the importance of masks, he tweeted about the monuments," he said on "Face the Nation."

"Now we need a president who will care more about living Americans and less about dead Confederates. This has an enormous impact." He added that if "we can get everybody wearing a MAGA hat to wear a mask, we're going to tame this virus because this masking is very, very effective."

Texas and Florida in particular are struggling right now. They rushed to reopen the states and were praised by Trump for doing so. But on Friday, they flipped it around and closed bars down again after their numbers rose significantly.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered the state's bars to close and restaurants to lower the occupancy. Additionally, he gave local governments the authority to ban outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people. Statistics show 1 in 10 Texans tested for COVID-19 tested positive.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the bars in his state to close on Friday because of "widespread noncompliance" with capacity and social distancing rules. On Friday state officials reported a record 8,942 cases, a number that is up 77 percent in just one week. 

"Wishful thinking got us here," said Judge Lina Hidalgo from Harris County, Texas, a region reaching the maximum hospital capacity. "Consider us the canary in the coal mine. You can look at what is happening here and know there are no shortcuts for getting around the crisis."

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