Kamala Harris says there will be no 'punishment' for not wearing masks under Biden

Kamala Harris says there will be no 'punishment' for not wearing masks under Biden
© Greg Nash

Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisPoll: Biden's job approval gains two points Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run MORE said Wednesday that President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE’s administration is not seeking “punishment” for people who do not wear masks, despite his call for a nationwide mandate.

“There's no punishment ... they don't have to. But [Biden] is saying, as a leader, ‘Please, everybody work with me here. For the first 100 days, let's everybody just wear a mask ... and see the outcomes there,’” Harris told ABC News’s Robin Roberts. “Because of course the scientists and the public health officials tell us there'll be really great outcomes if everyone does wear a mask when they're in public and outdoors.”


The incoming administration’s 100-day coronavirus plan involves distributing 100 million doses of the vaccine and a 100-day nationwide mask mandate.

Roberts also asked Harris about the message officials send when they fail to live up to public health rules, specifically citing Harris’s home state. Both Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomApple, Nordstrom stores hit in latest smash-and-grab robberies Ted Cruz ribs Newsom over vacation in Mexico: 'Cancun is much nicer than Cabo' San Francisco DA charges 9 involved in organized retail thefts MORE (D) and San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) have both been sharply criticized for dining out.

“I think we all have to understand that right now, this is a moment for everyone to sacrifice. And if we're going to get through this together as a country, then we all have to do it,” Harris said.

Harris also echoed comments by Biden that the pandemic will likely prevent a traditional inauguration.

“It's going to be very different than anything that we've witnessed before because of COVID. And we're going to ask people to enjoy the moment from their homes,” she said. “We're going to, I think, do it very much like we did the convention and, you know, figure out a production in a way that people all over the country get to participate.”