Pelosi: Nationwide mask mandate 'definitely long overdue'

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

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAs coronavirus surges, Trump tries to dismantle healthcare for millions Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus poses questions about school safety; Trump commutes Roger Stone sentence Pelosi plans legislation to limit pardons, commutations after Roger Stone move 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 won't revise school opening guidelines after Trump criticism Pelosi: Nationwide mask mandate 'definitely long overdue' ABC News to air Bolton interview shortly before White House memoir release 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 John TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' 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 McConnellHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Ernst: Renaming Confederate bases is the 'right thing to do' despite 'heck' from GOP Advocacy groups pressure Senate to reconvene and boost election funding 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.