Former Vice President Joe Biden floated the idea Thursday of issuing an executive order requiring all Americans to wear masks to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Wearing a mask can make the difference between life and death in some circumstances, Biden told a CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee suggested that making masks a requirement could help reduce cases and deaths.
“The one thing we do know is these masks make a gigantic difference. I would insist that everybody out in public be wearing that mask. Anyone to reopen would have to make sure that they walked into a business that had masks,” Biden told KDKA in an interview while wearing a black mask.
“Yes, I would. From an executive standpoint, yes I would,” Biden said in response to a question about whether he would use federal power to mandate wearing a mask in public.
The KDKA reporter pressed the former vice president, asked Biden if he would mandate mask-wearing. He responded: “I would do everything possible to make it required that people had to wear masks in public.”
Biden blamed President Donald Trump in May for nearly half of the coronavirus-related deaths in the United States. The virus originated in Wuhan, China, before spreading to the United States, where it has killed nearly 124,000 people, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker.
The former vice president has accused Trump in the past of bumbling the U.S.’s response to coronavirus, or COVID-19. Polls indicate that the barbs may be hitting their mark, with Trump trailing by significant margins in six battleground states.
Biden leads Trump in Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona, for instance, all by at least 6 points, according to data gathered by The New York Times and Siena College surveys. Biden’s lead Wisconsin and Michigan is closer to 11 points.
Biden’s campaign has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment for clarification.
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