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Fauci says US may want to mandate masks amid COVID-19 surges

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight health care: AstraZeneca says its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is up to 90 percent effective It's time for COVID-19 disaster relief ... for mothers Fauci: US could see 'well over 300,000' COVID-19 deaths MORE, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on Friday that the U.S. may want to mandate face coverings amid the latest surge of coronavirus cases. 

In a CNN interview on Friday, Fauci was asked if he thought Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit Protect our world: How the Biden administration can save lives and economies worldwide MORE’s plan to fight for mandates on mask-wearing across the country would be helpful.  

Fauci told CNN’s Erin Burnett that it would be a “great idea” to have everybody wearing masks uniformly. He also responded to criticism that mandates on masks would be difficult to enforce. 

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“If everyone agrees that this is something that’s important and they mandate and everybody pulls together, and says ‘we’re gonna mandate it, but let’s just do it,’ I think that would be a great idea to have everybody do it uniformly,” Fauci said. 

Fauci further said that one of the arguments he hears against masks mandates is that enforcing it would create more of an issue. 

“One of the issues though, I get the argument that 'Well, if you mandate a mask, you’re going to have to enforce it and that’s going to create more of a problem,'” Fauci said. “Well, if people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it.” 

During remarks he made in Wilmington, Del. on Friday, Biden said that he would go to governors to make masks mandatory in their states. If they did not impose mandates, he would then turn to local officials to do so.

The U.S. on Friday set a new record for single-day coronavirus cases as the nation enters a new wave of infections. According to COVID Tracking Project, there were 83,000 new confirmed cases across the nation, far above the previous record of 75,687 on July 16.