People who live in states that do not have mask mandates should be left behind when Congress approves its next coronavirus relief bill, according to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
“Wearing masks in public should be mandatory. Period. Leader McConnell said the Senate will take up the next coronavirus economic relief bill later this month. At that time, I intend to offer an amendment to prohibit sending funds to states that haven’t adopted a statewide mask requirement,” Feinstein said.
“The situation is getting worse daily. Several states including California, Alabama and Montana already require masks in public. This should be universal. My hope has been that other governors would show the leadership to institute their own mask mandates, but so far that hasn’t happened,” she added.
“It’s time for Congress to step in. This is a matter of life or death, and partisan politics shouldn’t play a role.”
President Donald Trump has said he opposes a national mask mandate.
“I want people to have a certain freedom and I don’t believe in that, no,” Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an interview that will air on “Fox News Sunday.”
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) July 17, 2020
“I don’t agree with the statement that if everyone wore a mask, everything disappears,” Trump said.
“Dr. [Anthony] Fauci said don’t wear a mask, our surgeon general — terrific guy — said don’t wear a mask. Everybody was saying don’t wear a mask, all of a sudden everybody’s got to wear a mask. And as you know, masks cause problems too,” he went on.
“With that being said, I’m a believer in masks. I think masks are good.”
A de facto national mask mandate was imposed on Walmart shoppers this week, with retail giants including Kroger, Target, Best Buy, CVS Health and Lowe’s also requiring that customers wear masks when they enter any U.S. store, according to CNBC. Many stores required masks before in accordance with local laws, but there was no nationwide policy.
“To be clear, we’re not asking our store employees to play the role of enforcer,” CVS Chief Operating Officer Jon Roberts said in a statement. “What we are asking is that customers help protect themselves and those around them by listening to the experts and heeding the call to wear a face covering.”
Some are pushing back against a mask mandate.
Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is suing Atlanta to stop the city from enforcing a mask mandate imposed by Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, according to Fox News.
In the suit, the state “seeks to have this Court make a declaration that Mayor Bottoms’ executive orders are more restrictive and contradictory to his executive orders, and therefore, Mayor Bottoms’ COVID-related executive orders are suspended.”
“This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times,” Kemp said in a statement. “These men and women are doing their very best to put food on the table for their families while local elected officials shutter businesses and undermine economic growth.”
Kemp added, however, that he wants Georgia citizens to wear masks voluntarily.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 17, 2020
In Utah, parents protested an order from Gov. Gary Herbert to force children to wear masks when schools reopen in the fall, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“This mandate for the children to wear masks is baloney,” Provo resident Cynthia Harding said. “We have the right to make our own choices.”
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