Jun 28, 2020 - Health

Pelosi: A national mask mandate is "long overdue"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that a national mandate to wear face masks in public is "definitely long overdue," and she urged President Trump to set an example by wearing one. "Real men wear masks," she added.

Why it matters: Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends but does not require people to wear masks in public — despite massive spikes in new coronavirus cases around the United States.

  • Scientific evidence shows that wearing face masks can help prevent the spread of the virus, but distrust in public health advice has forced a partisan dispute about face masks.
  • Dozens of states have introduced mandatory mask measures as they've reopened their economies, but certain hot spots across the U.S. have yet to take similar action.

What she's saying: "It's not about protecting yourself," Pelosi said. "It's about protecting others."

  • "We are 4% of the world's population. We are 25% of the [coronavirus] cases and the deaths. 25%. We have the worst record of any country in the world, and the president says 'We're making progress' or whatever."
  • "This is life and death. And we do have a plan to again reverse this trend, as well as to kill off this virus. We don't have a vaccine. We don't have a cure. God willing, and science enabling, we will sometime soon."

The big picture: Coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing in multiple parts of the U.S. Florida reported 9,585 new cases on Saturday — surpassing the state's previous record of 8,942 infections in a single day.

Go deeper: Washington becomes latest state to make wearing masks in public mandatory

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