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McConnell urges people to wear masks: 'There's no stigma'

McConnell urges people to wear masks: 'There's no stigma'
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Battle for Senate 'a 50-50 proposition' 'Packing' federal courts is already a serious problem What a Biden administration should look like MORE (R-Ky.) is encouraging Americans to wear face masks and to abide by social distancing guidelines as states begin to gradually reopen amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

“There’s no stigma attached to wearing a mask," McConnell said at an event in Kentucky, according to Politico. "There’s no stigma attached to staying six feet apart."

The comments from the Republican leader come as President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORE and some of his top aides continue to avoid wearing masks in public, even as top health officials urge Americans to don face coverings if they cannot maintain social distancing. 

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Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends Americans wear masks when they are in public areas and unable to keep six feet of distance from others in an effort to slow the spread of the disease. 

While pushing Americans to wear face coverings, McConnell reportedly directed his message to young Americans, saying that they had an "obligation to others," considering the possibility that they could be asymptomatic and carrying the virus. 

“That’s not too much to ask of a younger person,” he said of donning a face mask. “So to get through this next phase, as we ease back into normal, even if you’re in a low-risk category, do what we’re asking you to do for the good of others as we begin to move back to normal.”

“Just because you’re 21, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to other people, even though your chances of having a problem are pretty slim.” McConnell added. “I think the more we can say that the better.”

McConnell also said that he wears a face covering to set a "good example" for the public, Politico noted. He pointed to photos “all over the place” of him wearing a mask as evidence of his commitment. 

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McConnell's comments came the same day that the U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 100,000. As of Thursday morning, the U.S. had reported nearly 1.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and about 100,400 deaths caused by it, according to a Johns Hopkins University database

Amid the outbreak, Trump has consistently resisted calls to wear a face covering in public. He was photographed wearing one at a Ford factory in Michigan last week while touring the facility, though took it off before speaking with reporters. 

Asked why he wasn't wearing the mask publicly, Trump said he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”

Top administration health officials in recent days have stressed the need for wearing face coverings as some public venues and nonessential businesses begin to reopen. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn warned over Memorial Day weekend that the coronavirus has yet to be contained and that citizens must follow health guidelines to help curb the disease's spread. 

Speaking on Sunday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said that the decision to wear a face covering should not be political, arguing "that this is not about whether you're liberal or conservative, left or right, Republican, Democrat."

"We wear the mask — and it's been very clear what the studies have shown — you wear the mask not to protect yourself so much as to protect others. And this is one time when we truly are all in this together,” he said.