Story at a glance

  • Meadows said mandates on masks should be left up to governors and mayors.
  • President Trump also said last week during an interview with the Fox Business Network that he doesn’t believe the U.S. needs a national mandate for people to wear masks.
  • Several governors have required residents to use face masks in some capacity as cases and hospitalizations in several states continue to spike.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is shooting down the possibility of a national mandate requiring Americans to wear masks as coronavirus cases surge across the country. 

During an interview Monday with “Fox & Friends,” Meadows was asked whether there should be a federal mandate on wearing masks or whether the decision should be left up to the states. Meadows said a national mandate is “not in order.” 


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“Well, it’s certainly a state-to-state issue, as we look across the country, obviously the narrative is the COVID cases are rising, but testing is rising exponentially. We’ve now tested almost 10 percent of our country,” Meadows said. 


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“When we look at masks and the wearing of masks, that’s down on a location basis, when you can’t have social distancing, but certainly a national mandate is not in order,” he said. “We’re allowing our local governors and our local mayors to weigh in on that.” 

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President Trump last week during an interview with the Fox Business Network also said he doesn’t believe the U.S. needs a national mandate for people to wear masks. 

“I don’t know if you need mandatory, because you have many places in the country where people stay very long distances. You talk about social distancing. But I’m all for masks,” Trump said. 

The president has largely defied his own administration’s guidance advising people to wear cloth face coverings when they go out in public, appearing at public events and rallies without any face covering. Trump argues he’s able to do so because he is regularly tested. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of masks or cloth facial coverings when it is not possible to stay at least 6 feet away from others. Studies have shown the use of face coverings can slow the spread of COVID-19 because it helps prevent coronavirus carriers who do not know they have the disease — because they’re not showing symptoms — from spreading it to others. 

Several governors have required residents to wear face masks in some capacity as cases and hospitalizations in several states continue to spike. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last week issued an executive order requiring residents in counties with more than 20 cases to wear a face covering of some kind while out in public. On Monday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced an executive order requiring a facial covering inside buildings when social distancing isn’t possible.


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Published on Jul 06, 2020