Following the mainstream media’s decision to declare him the winner of last month’s presidential race, Democratic nominee Joe Biden had steadily released his plans for a potential administration as well as individuals he would like to serve in key positions.
Much of his rhetoric thus far has pertained to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including his recent declaration that he will call for all Americans to wear a face mask in public for the 100 days following his inauguration.
“A crisis in those states”
In a recent interview, the former vice president declared: “The first day I’m inaugurated I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask.”
He went on to reassure Americans that the recommendation is “not forever,” sharing his belief that the nation will “see a significant reduction that occurs with vaccinations and masking to drive down the numbers considerably.”
Like many public officials, however, his position on the topic has evolved throughout the pandemic.
In September, he suggested that the president likely has the authority to enforce a national mandate requiring Americans to wear a mask.
“Our legal team thinks I can do that based upon the degree to which there’s a crisis in those states, and how bad things are for the country, and if we don’t do it, what happens,” he said at the time.
“I would call every governor in the country”
The same month, Biden signaled that the president likely lacks the constitutional authority to mandate mask use by executive order.
In June, he advocated instituting “a mask mandate nationwide starting immediately,” citing estimates that such an effort would “save over 40,000 lives in the next three months.”
As a workaround to any constitutional limitations, Biden has recently told supporters that he would use his position in the White House to pressure state and local leaders into implementing their own mask guidelines.
“I would make sure that I would call every governor in the country into the White House, say, ‘You should be putting mandates out,'” he said during a town hall event in September. “And if they don’t, I call the mayors in the towns and their cities and I say, ‘Put out mandates, you can save lives.'”
The issue of masks is not the only one on which Biden has altered his position. He initially condemned President Donald Trump’s decision to limit travel from China in the early days of the pandemic before later embracing the move.