Pelosi: Nationwide mask mandate 'definitely long overdue'

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

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden to meet House Dems before Europe trip: report On The Money — Will the billionaire tax survive Joe Manchin? Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Democrats prepare to grill oil execs 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 StephanopoulosCDC director urges Americans to go outside, 'enjoy your trick-or-treating' Rand Paul calls for Fauci's firing over 'lack of judgment' Fauci says vaccines could be available to kids in early November 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 TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly 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 McConnellMcConnell backs Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats insist budget consensus close as talks drag on Manchin backs raising debt ceiling with reconciliation if GOP balks 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.