Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden made it clear on Thursday that if president, he would make mask-wearing a federal requirement across the entire United States. At least, as clear as the 77-year-old can make anything these days.
“The one thing we do know, these masks make a gigantic difference. I would insist that everybody in public be wearing that mask,” Biden said. “Anyone to reopen, it would have to make sure that they walked into a business that had masks.”
President Donald Trump has resisted making mask-wearing a federal issue and has left such mandates to the states, which vary in their approach to the subject. Texas and South Carolina have strongly recommended wearing masks in indoor public locations but not required them, while California Governor Gavin Newsom just mandated that all California residents wear masks in public locations, even outdoors in some situations.
Some governors have left it up to local municipalities whether to require masks, which makes sense with an uneven outbreak that yields many new cases in some cities or counties and few in others.
Biden thinks polls are on his side
Biden likely believes his stance on masks is the correct one, and certainly, a lot of Americans agree with him about the need to wear them.
Most national polls on the subject are showing their age, with the most recent one on June 2 showing that most Democrats always wear a mask when they go outside, but only a third of people overall do. But a lot has changed since June 2, with new coronavirus case numbers spiking now in over half of states in the U.S. as they continue to reopen.
A newer poll of Iowans still showed similar numbers, though, with slightly more than a third of Republicans saying they don’t think mask-wearing is that important, but 2/3 of Democrats thinking it is.
The CDC agrees, recommending in May that Americans wear cloth face coverings in situations where social distancing is difficult, like stores, especially in areas with “significant community spread” of the virus.
Biden: 120 million dead from coronavirus
Of course, Biden also claimed during a recent campaign stop that “120 million” people had died from the coronavirus. I’m pretty sure everyone would be wearing masks, if not barricading themselves inside their homes entirely, if those kinds of numbers were a reality.
Somehow the gaffe-prone Biden is managing to stay ahead double digits in most polls, coming across to some as reasonable and even-tempered during a time of crisis compared to Trump’s bluster and temper on Twitter. While polls are unreliable at this stage, they still show a movement toward Biden that is concerning.
To some extent, it may be human nature to blame the current leader for any crisis, even though by all accounts that aren’t politically motivated, Trump has done a good job making sure states have supplies they need and delegating appropriate decisions to a more local level.
But America will not be getting Biden even if they decide to vote that way in November. It’s important to remember that the Democrat Party is now a far-left entity, and make no mistake: that’s what people will be getting when they vote for any representative of it, no matter how reasonable he seems.