Jul 5, 2020 - Health

New Jersey governor: National face mask requirement "not debatable"

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J) on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday called for a national face mask mandate to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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

  • Without a national mandate, many states, including New Jersey, have moved to require face masks in public.

Be smart: 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.

What he's saying: Murphy said the country needs a national strategy, and that "masking has got to be at the core of that."

MURPHY: "Listen, this thing is lethal. New Jersey's paid an enormous price. We've lost over 13,000 confirmed fatalities from COVID-19. We're starting to see a — small spikes in reinfection from folks coming back from places like Myrtle Beach and as well as in Florida, other hotspots. To me, it says we need a national strategy. We're only as strong as our weakest link right now. As you mentioned in the, in the outset of the program, I said, 'We went through hell. We cannot afford to go through hell again.' We need a national strategy. I think right now masking has got to be at the core of that."
ANDREA MITCHELL: "And do you think that there should be a national mask requirement?"
MURPHY: "I do. I do, Andrea. It's become almost not even debatable. Certainly when you're going out and absolutely indoors. As I’ve mentioned, this virus is a lot more lethal inside than outside, but if you're leaving your house, put on a mask. I think it ought to be a national requirement."
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