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Biden would mandate wearing a mask as president

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Brad Pitt narrates Biden ad airing during World Series MORE on Thursday said that if he's elected president in November he would make it required for people in the country to wear masks as the number of coronavirus cases continues to spike nationwide.

“I would go back to making sure that everybody had masks, that you had PPE lined up, making sure we stockpile all the things that we need and we don’t have now," Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, told CBS's Pittsburgh affiliate.

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

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Biden has been a constant critic of the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic.

"President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE thinks that if he just ignores COVID-19 it will go away," Biden said in a statement Thursday. "It’s the exact same tactic Trump has tried since I, and others, raised the alarm about the coronavirus in January, and it’s a defeatist mindset that’s left over 120,000 Americans dead and our economy reeling with almost 20 million people out of work."

In the interview with KDKA, Biden also said that he does not intend to have any large indoor rallies similar to the one President Trump held in Tulsa, Okla., last week and in Arizona this week.

“No. 1, can I imagine being in a situation where we’re able to do that? If the virus were under control and moved on and we had talked about a vaccine and we had ways in which to make sure that this was not being transmitted, then yes,” Biden said of possible events.

“But I don’t see that happening.” 

The comments come as Biden has surged to a double-digit lead in a number of national polls. He has also taken the lead in multiple battleground states with the election less than five months away.

On Thursday, the U.S. broke its record for most new coronavirus cases reported in a day with more than 40,000 new cases.