WILMINGTON, DE – Former Vice President and current candidate for President Joe Biden believes every Governor in the nation should mandate that Americans wear facemasks deep into the fall of this year, even in some circumstances where they have yet to be required to wear masks.
“Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months, at a minimum. Every governor should mandate mandatory mask-wearing,” Biden said this week.
Biden says his mandate, which includes mandating people wear masks outside, will save tens of thousands of lives, but it is unclear what data Biden’s prediction is based on. Biden had previously said he would use the power of the executive branch as President to mandate masks in all public places.
Responding to Biden’s position, President Trump asked at a Thursday news conference, “If the president has the unilateral power to order every single citizen to cover their face in nearly all instances, what other powers does he have?”
Official United States CDC guidance on masks does not recommend wearing a mask outside except in instances where people are in close proximity to one another, such as on job sites or in large crowds. The CDC actually recommends people move some activities from indoor to outside in situations where individuals are unable to wear masks. Biden’s position appears to go well beyond CDC guidance.
Polling has shown a split among Americans in their position on mask requirements. Many states, private businesses and local governments have adopted mask mandates and recommendations.
Biden has spent the last few months at his home in Delaware, seldom making public appearances. When Biden does venture out from his home he always wears a mask.
Trump, on the other hand, has worn a mask only in settings, such as in hospitals, where health guidance indicates he should.
The two camps frequently spar on the issue, with Trump officials frequently reminding the American public that Biden originally opposed Trump’s ban on travel from China in the early days of the COVID outbreak.
Biden criticized the move at the time, saying Trump’s action was driven by xenophobia.
That quick action by President Trump has been credited with saving countless lives and buying the United States time to prepare for the imminent pandemic.
Biden has since tried to walk back his criticism and has publicly agreed with the Trump travel ban.