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Pelosi: Nationwide mask mandate 'definitely long overdue'

Pelosi: Nationwide mask mandate 'definitely long overdue'
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote Clinton, Pelosi holding online Women's Day fundraiser with Chrissy Teigen, Amanda Gorman What good are the intelligence committees? MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday a nationwide mandate to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of coronavirus is “definitely long overdue.” 

“Definitely long overdue for that,” Pelosi told George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosKhashoggi colleague: 'Why are we making an alliance with a dictator?' Fauci on Johnson & Johnson vaccine: 'Just be really grateful' Portman on Trump's dominance of GOP: Republican Party's policies are 'even more popular' MORE on ABC's “This Week.” “And my understanding that the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] has recommended the use of masks but not required it because they don’t want to offend the president.”

The speaker called on President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend MORE to “be an example” to the U.S. and wear a face covering, saying “real men wear masks.”

Pelosi also demanded the Senate and White House act to pass the $3 trillion coronavirus relief package approved by the House last month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJudiciary Committee greenlights Garland's AG nomination This week: Senate takes up coronavirus relief after minimum wage setback Juan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP MORE (R-Ky.) has not brought it to the floor for a vote. 

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“It’s time for this administration to take this seriously,” she said. “As Dr. [Anthony] Fauci said, we have a serious problem ahead.”

“This is life and death, and we do have a plan to again reverse this trend, as well as to kill off this virus,” she added. “We don’t have a vaccine, and we don’t have a cure. God willing and science enabling, we will sometime soon, but until we do, we have the tools to halt the growth of this.”

The U.S. reached 2.5 million coronavirus cases on Saturday and has recorded at least 125,539 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

The Trump administration has begun turning its attention to the campaign trail in the past week, holding indoor events in Arizona and Oklahoma, two states with rising cases, against the advice of public health officials. 

The president has praised the amount of testing conducted in the country but said at his Tulsa, Okla., rally that he wished fewer tests were conducted, so the number of confirmed cases would be lower. Trump and other officials later said his comments were made in jest.