Pelosi Agrees With Biden: Make Mask-Wearing Mandatory in Public

By Susan Jones | June 29, 2020 | 7:33am EDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made her masks a color-coordinated fashion accessory. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made her masks a color-coordinated fashion accessory. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

( - "Is it time to mandate the wearing of masks across the country?" George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC's "This Week," asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday.

"Oh, definitely long overdue for that," Pelosi responded:

"And my understanding, that the Centers for Disease Control has recommended the use of masks, but not to demand -- required it, because they don't want to offend the president.

"And the president should be example. You know, real men wear masks. Be an example to the country and wear the mask, not only to pro -- it's not about protecting yourself. It's about protecting others and their families.

Last Friday, former Vice President Joe Biden said if he were president, he would require Americans to wear face masks in public:

"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," Biden told KDKA, the CNN affiliate in Pittsburgh. "I would do everything possible to make it required that people had to wear masks in public."

Appearing on two of the Sunday talk shows, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said all Americans should practice "appropriate social distancing and wearing facial covering when we're not able to."

And he was firmly pressed on President Trump's refusal to wear a face mask in most settings, including his recent indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"Have you directly asked the president to please ask the country to wear a mask?" NBC's Chuck Todd, host of "Meet the Press," asked Azar.

"So I'm the president's secretary of health," Azar said. "I'm telling you, practice social distancing where you can't appropriately social distance. We encourage you to wear a facial covering.

"The vice president of the United States on Friday stood on stage, walked up on stage wearing a mask, even though he doesn't need to in the sense that everybody around him is tested. He's in a bubble.

The president, we know, is a very unique circumstance as leader of the free world. He's tested constantly and those around him are tested constantly and are kept at a distance even with that.

"But we're all saying this. The president's guidelines for reopening, the president's guidelines, his guidelines, have said from day one, practice social distancing. If you can't, wear face coverings. Practice appropriate personal hygiene, and always please consider your individual circumstances and those of your household members, protect the most vulnerable…”

Todd complained that Azar "avoided my question about whether you've asked the president to at least ask the country to wear a mask. Just because you put guidelines under his name, when he doesn't do it, his people don't listen."

(Note the phrase, "his people." As if non-Trump supporters, including those protesting in the streets and tearing down statues all wear masks.)

"Well, Chuck," Azar said, "I'm not going to talk about politics, but we've seen mass gatherings over the last several weeks with people rightly expressing First Amendment and political views, and this is appropriate.

"But my message is one of public health, which is if you're going to participate in any type of large gathering I encourage you, consider your individual circumstance, consider the circumstance of those you live with and take appropriate precautions that are appropriate to yourself and your community."

Through Twitter, the president has hinted at his objections to masks, and as leftist media activists press ever-harder for him to wear one, Trump's resolve not to do so appears to grow firmer.

In May, Trump tweeted: “So many different viewpoints” about masks. He then quoted someone who wrote that “masks aren’t about public health but social control. Image of Biden in black mask endorses culture of silence, slavery and social death.”

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