Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) shocked the media by breaking with his GOP colleagues and urging Americans to wear masks in public on Monday.
McConnell’s impassioned plea for compliance with CDC mask recommendations is a splashy departure from many Congressional Republicans that have defied conventional wisdom about wearing face coverings in public spaces.
“We must have no stigma — none — about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday. “Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting other people. It’s about protecting everyone we encounter.”
McConnell’s comments came after a number of Democrats criticized House Republicans that opted against wearing masks while on the House floor.
Democrat leaders including House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-SC) have proactively barred anyone refusing to wear a mask in committee meetings from participating.
McConnell did not specifically address reports that Republican lawmakers were uncooperative with mask mandates, but admonished the public that “The more we hate the pain and suffering that accompanied the strict stay-home guidelines a few months ago, the happier we should be to take responsible small steps every day to ensure our country can stay on the offense against the virus.”
Public health officials sent mixed messages about the efficacy of wearing masks or cloth face coverings in order to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The CDC and other health agencies spent weeks in the early days of the pandemic telling Americans that wearing masks of any kind was a futile effort and actually was detrimental to the burgeoning battle against coronavirus.
The shocking reversal came weeks later, when health officials began urging any and all to wear masks anywhere social distancing was not possible. In recent weeks, some local and state leaders have issued blanket mandates to wear masks or cloth face coverings at all times in public spaces.
This inconsistent messaging has created resistance to the idea of wearing face coverings. Even the CDC admits that the evidence supporting the use of cloth face coverings not designed to filter out microscopic particles is still “emerging.”
Despite the lack of concrete evidence, mask-wearing is the new weapon that Democrats and social justice warriors have landed upon to bludgeon the American people into submission.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Sunday that she believes that a federal mask mandate is “long overdue,” and Democrat nominee Joe Biden said last week that he would use his executive power as president to issue a blanket mandate forcing all Americans to wear face coverings.