Biden Says He Would Use Federal Power To Force Americans Into Wearing Masks In Public

Joe Biden

Joe Biden has said that he would use federal power to make Americans wear face masks in public.

The Presumptive Democratic nominee said on Thursday, if elected president, he would make the wearing of masks mandatory.

“I would insist that everybody out in public be wearing that mask.” he said

The move would mark a significant intervention by the federal government and would also see considerable pushback from states.

Several sheriffs have said that making face masks compulsory is unconstitutional and unenforceable, with one going as far as actually urging residents to defy a statewide mandate by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Fox News reports: Biden made the comments in an interview with CBS affiliate KDKA, in which he spoke about what he thinks should be done to reopen the country from the coronavirus shutdown. He said that he wants to see greater use of masks.

“The one thing we do know, these masks make a gigantic difference. I would insist that everybody in public be wearing that mask,” he said. “Anyone to reopen, it would have to make sure that they walked into a business that had masks.”

The interviewer asked if he would use “federal leverage” to mandate mask-wearing,

“Yes, I would from an executive standpoint, yes I would,” he said, to which the interviewer asked if he would then be mandating mask-wearing.

“I would do everything possible to make it required the people had to wear masks in public,” Biden said.

A number of states require mask-wearing in public when social-distancing is not possible, while a number of others merely recommend Americans in their states wear masks.

The Centers for Disease Control, meanwhile, recommends wearing “cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations.”

But mask-wearing has been hotly debated in many parts of the country and among lawmakers. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., recently said that “everyone should just wear a damn mask.”

But President Trump has not been seen in public wearing a mask, and has dismissed suggestions he should wear one. He has also suggested they could be counterproductive.

“They put their finger on the mask, and they take them off, and then they start touching their eyes and touching their nose and their mouth,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal last week. “And then they don’t know how they caught it?”

Any federal mandate that people wear masks would likely stir significant opposition, considering that state mandates have proved controversial.