Biden to urge wearing masks for first 100 days in office
President-elect Joe Biden plans to call on Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office, he announced Thursday.
Biden has long urged Americans to wear masks to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday, he put a specific time frame on what his request will be.
“Just 100 days to mask, not forever. 100 days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction” in COVID-19 infections, Biden said, according to a preview of the interview that will air Thursday evening.
While Biden wants everyone to wear masks, he will not have the constitutional authority to directly order a nationwide mask mandate.
Some experts have suggested he could tie federal funding to state mask laws and have said he could pressure local mayors to enact mandates on their own if governors are uncooperative.
Biden has discussed the idea of mandates with bipartisan members of the National Governors Association, and said he will personally call Republican governors and urge them to put politics aside for public health.
During a speech last month, Biden implored Americans to put aside politics and wear masks, saying it was a necessary step to take for “the soul of this country.”
“It’s time to end the politicization of basic, responsible public health steps like mask wearing and social distancing,” Biden said. “A mask is not a political statement, but it is a good way to start pulling the country together.”