UPDATED 3:15 PM PT — Sunday, June 28, 2020
Democrats have called on the White House to take a stricter stance in the fight against the novel coronavirus. They are now demanding a nationwide mandate on masks.
As the pandemic disrupted normalcy across the globe, the national health crisis within the U.S. turned into a political issue. On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated she believes a national mask mandate is “long overdue.”
“My understanding is that the Centers for Disease Control has recommended the use of masks, but not required it because they don’t want to offend the president,” she said.
Pelosi has urged the president to act as an example and called on his supporters to do the same.
Meanwhile, the governor of Washington state has blamed the president for the pandemic becoming political. The Democrat leader recently stressed the importance of masks.
“The fact is that Donald Trump is for masking up like George Wallace was for integration. We governors are urging people now to use this effective technique. 100% masking means 100% opening up. All of us should be on that bandwagon right now.” – Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington
The debate over mandating masks across the board has become a controversial topic because some believe it violates basic human rights.
“Where do you derive the authority to regulate human breathing? I ask you this because this is very important. You all are playing doctors and you’re not. God gave us the very breath that we are to breathe. I would also like to know, where do you get the authority to reduce my oxygen?” – Unnamed citizen
Anti-mask rallies have been held in recent days, where several have congregated to speak out on the issue.
In Florida, residents have called the mask mandate “the devil’s law.”
“You literally cannot mandate somebody to wear a mask knowing that that mask is killing people. It literally is killing people. We the people are waking up. We know what citizens’ arrest is, because citizens’ arrests are already happening, okay?” – Unnamed resident
The Trump administration continues to encourage Americans to adhere to CDC guidelines. Vice President Mike Pence has advised Americans to wear masks when in public and when they are unable to social distance.
As for a nationwide mandate, Pence has said he believes the severity of the pandemic varies based on area and that the decision should be made on a case-by-case basis.
“We just believe that what’s most important here is that people listen to the leadership in their state, the leadership in their local community, and adhere to that guidance,” he said. “Whether that has to do with facial coverings, whether it has to do with the size of gatherings.”
This topic of debate has become increasingly more pressing as multiple states, such as Texas and Florida, have reported upticks in recent days.