Nancy Pelosi Calls on CDC to Force Americans to Wear Masks Amid Increase in Coronavirus Cases

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, leads a press conference at the Capitol Visitor Center on Friday, June 26, 2020.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that a federal mandate on wearing masks is “long overdue,” as state governors ask for a consistent national message on the issue amid a surge in cases. of coronaviruses across the country.

Pelosi said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the use of masks to reduce the spread of the virus, but never forced him to “not offend” President Donald Trump.

The president has repeatedly violated public health guidelines by refusing to wear a mask in public since the outbreak began.

“The president should be an example. Real men wear masks, be an example for the country, wear a mask,” Pelosi said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week”. “It is not about protecting yourself, it is about protecting others.”

The use of masks has become a point of discussion in the US, despite research showing that facial coatings prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

US coronavirus cases rose by more than 45,000 in one day on Friday, a record peak that brought the nation’s total to more than 2.5 million cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Vice President Mike Pence deflected a question Sunday about a federal mandate that requires Americans to wear masks, and said people should listen to what state and local officials say about wearing masks in public.

The vice president said in an interview on CBS ‘”Face the Nation” that “each state has a unique situation” and “we believe that people should wear masks where social distancing is not possible.”

When asked if the president and vice president should do more to set an example about wearing masks, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, said Sunday that there should be a “consistent national message” for wearing masks.

“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 estrangement, protecting ourselves and others from the virus,” Hutchinson said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” . ”

Arkansas, like a dozen other states, has seen a significant increase in new coronavirus cases in the past few days, with a seven-day average increase of 36%.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden has said that if elected he will require the use of masks in public. Currently, the CDC recommends that people wear face covers in public where social distancing is difficult to maintain, and some states and local communities require masks.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee criticized the president on Sunday for his “damaging” tweets and for failing to provide a “health message” to Americans to help control the pandemic.

“Rather than tweeting the importance of masks the other day, he tweeted about the monuments,” Inslee said in an interview on CBS ‘”Face the Nation.” “Now we need a president who cares more about living Americans and less about dead Confederates. This has a huge impact.”

“And if we can get everyone to wear a MAGA hat to wear a mask, we are going to tame this virus, because this masking is very, very effective,” Inslee added.