In the wake of President Donald Trump’s recent positive coronavirus test results, among others in his inner circle, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is reiterating his call for a nationwide face mask mandate.
He addressed the issue during a campaign stop on Friday, urging voters to look at wearing a mask as the “patriotic” thing to do, as reported by Breitbart.
“It’s not about being a tough guy”
The former vice president addressed reporters and supporters at an event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, just hours after the president announced his diagnosis.
“This is not a matter of politics,” Biden said. “We have to do our part to be responsible. It means following the science, listening to the experts, washing our hands, social distancing.”
He wore a mask throughout the address, even when socially distanced and standing alone at the podium, going on to stress the importance of everyone covering their faces while in public.
“It means wearing a mask in public and encouraging others to do so as well,” he said. “It means having masking mandates nationwide. So be patriotic. It’s not about being a tough guy, it’s about doing your part. Wearing a mask is not only going to protect you, it will protect those around you.”
In a tweet the following day, he echoed the same sentiment.
“Do it for the people you love”
“Be a patriot,” he wrote. “Do your part. Wearing a mask will protect you. But it will also protect those around you — your mom, your dad, your son, your daughter, your neighbor, your co-worker. Don’t just do it for yourself. Do it for the people you love.”
Of course, Biden previously backed away from his earlier endorsement of a national mandate, citing an apparent lack of executive authority.
“There’s a constitutional issue whether the federal government can issue such a mandate,” he said last month. “I don’t think constitutionally they could, so I wouldn’t issue a mandate.”
At that time, however, he reiterated his stance that he would continue wearing a mask to set a “patriotic” example for others. For his part, Trump has downplayed the effectiveness of face masks, calling their use a “mixed bag” in remarks he made last month.
While it remains unclear whether Biden would actually issue such an order if elected president, those voters opposed to the idea can take action at the polls on Nov. 3 to ensure he never has an opportunity to try.