President-elect Joe Biden revealed that he will indeed enact a nationwide facemask mandate on day one of his term.
“The day we’re inaugurated, I’m going to ask you to mask up for the 100 days,” Biden said in an address that he delivered on Friday. Biden’s inauguration is set for Wednesday, Jan. 20.
“This is a patriotic act.”
This shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise, as Biden has been promising to implement a mask mandate for some time now. He is calling it his “100-Day Masking Challenge.”
“This is not a political issue,” Biden said on Friday. “And, I will issue an executive order to require a mask where I have the authority to do that: for federal workers and for federal property and for interstate travel by trains and planes.”
While the mask mandate will initially be limited to these areas, Biden plans to pressure states to institute a similar mandate.
“We’ll also be working with mayors and governors in red states and blue states and ask them to require masking up in their cities and their states,” Biden said.
Look, I hope we now know this is not a political issue. This is about saving lives. I know it has become a partisan issue. But, what a stupid, stupid thing for it to happen. This is a patriotic act. We’re asking you, we’re in a war with this virus. And, experts say and have shown that wearing a mask from now until April will save as many as 50 thousand lives.
A day later, on Saturday, incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain confirmed that Biden, on day one of his presidency, will sign an executive order implementing the “100-Day Masking Challenge.”
Biden’s larger plan
The mask mandate is only a small part of Biden’s plan to address the coronavirus. This week, Biden also unveiled his “American Rescue Plan.”
This is a $1.9 trillion dollar coronavirus relief package that, according to Biden, includes direct cash payments of $1,400, extended unemployment supplementals, rent relief, food assistance, aid to small businesses, and the keeping of essential frontline workers on the job.
Biden will also look to increase the vaccination rate. And, according to Newsweek, “on his second day in office, Biden will sign executive orders to tackle the COVID-19 crisis in order to safely reopen schools and businesses.”
The scene is now set for Biden to take all the credit for “rescuing” America from the coronavirus.