The Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 

 

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LEADING THE DAY: The Great Mask Debate 

Jacksonville, Fla., announced on Monday that residents and visitors will be required to wear masks, or face coverings, indoors and in public spaces. The development comes as coronavirus cases in the Sunshine State skyrocket ahead of the Republican National Convention set to take place in the northern Florida city in August. 

More than 8,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in Florida for the third day in a row on Sunday, resulting in public officials rethinking their reopening strategies in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Bars in the state have been shut down to dissuade people from gathering in the spaces.  Additionally, various South Florida beaches will be closed ahead of the July Fourth holiday. 

And while face masks have been required in some of the state’s localities, like Orange County, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisSources say DeSantis undercutting fundraising for Republican National Convention because of personal dispute: report Overnight Health Care: Fauci says hard-hit states should be 'pausing' reopening | Florida records record number of coronavirus deaths | Redfield says keeping schools closed poses greater health threat to children than reopening Florida records record number of coronavirus deaths MORE (R) has yet to issue a statewide mandate on face masks. 

“We’ve worked very closely with Jacksonville just as we’ve worked with the folks in South Florida and others, and we’re going to continue to do that and support efforts that they think are appropriate in their given jurisdiction,” DeSantis said at a press briefing on Monday. 

However, the issue of whether to wear a face covering has become highly politicized. 

Last week, a video of a Palm Beach Commission meeting went viral after residents erupted at local officials' move to make face coverings mandatory in public, with one attendee going as far as calling the mandate “the devil’s law.” 

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Various GOP-led municipalities in parts of South Florida have said they will not institute a mask mandate. President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He 'deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' MORE, himself, has been reluctant to wear a mask. 

However, Democrats and a growing list of Republicans are calling on Trump to don a face covering in public. Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Friday that there needs to be a consistent message from Trump on the issue of masks, while Republican Tennessee Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderRepublicans considering an outdoor stadium for Florida convention: report Sixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Randi Weingarten MORE echoed that sentiment on Sunday. 

“If wearing masks is important and all the health experts tell us that it is in containing the disease in 2020, it would help if from time to time the president would wear one to help us get rid of this political debate that says if you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask, if you’re against Trump, you do,” Alexander said. 

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a briefing on Monday that Trump does not have an issue with people wearing masks. 

"[Trump] encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety but did say to me he has no problems with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests of you,” she said. 

--Julia Manchester 

READ MORE: Jacksonville, site of Republican convention, to require masks indoors and in public, by Brett Samuels

FROM THE TRAIL:

Trump is struggling to get a hold on his 2020 messaging, as the death toll from the coronavirus crisis mounts and the economy reels. Trump had once planned to put the economy at the center of his reelection campaign, but high unemployment rates and a turbulent stock market has largely thrown cold water on that strategy. Asked in an interview with Fox News’ Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' Trump says he'll wear mask during upcoming trip to Walter Reed MORE last week what his priorities are for a second term, Trump did not say what was on his agenda. The Hill’s Niall Stanage reports.

 

CONGRESS AND THE STATES: 

Former 2020 Democratic contender Tom SteyerTom SteyerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Celebrities fundraise for Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary MORE endorsed Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyGOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday The Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary MORE (D) in his Massachusetts Senate primary race against Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Celebrities fundraise for Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary MORE (D-Mass.). The endorsement, which was first released to The Hill, comes seven years after Markey denounced Steyer's involvement on his behalf in his first Senate bid in 2013. Markey's campaign argued that Steyer's commitment to spend a significant amount of money to defeat Markey's then-opponent, Rep. Stephen LynchStephen Francis LynchThe Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary House GOP lawmakers defy new mask requirement MORE (D-Mass.), went against the People's Pledge, which blocks any outside groups from advertising in the Senate race. Julia reports.

 

PERSPECTIVES:

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POLL WATCH:

PUBLIC POLICY POLLING- GEORGIA PRESIDENTIAL 

Biden: 49%

Trump: 45%

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PUBLIC POLICY POLLING- GEORGIA SENATE 

Collins: 23%

Loeffler: 21%

Warnock: 20%

SUSQUEHANNA – PENNSYLVANIA PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 46%

Trump: 41%

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MONEY WATCH:

Markey also has scored support from a number of celebrities, including Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas and Carole King, who are fundraising for him. The effort comes as Markey lags behind Kennedy in fundraising two months out from the Bay State's Democratic Senate primary. Kennedy had $6.2 million in cash on hand at the end of the last fundraising quarter, while Markey had $4.4 million in the bank. Julia reports



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