California senator and Democratic vice presidential hopeful Kamala Harris confirmed Friday that a Joe Biden White House would seek to require all Americans to wear masks — even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wind down in the United States.
According to the Daily Wire, Harris said in an interview with the Today show that a mask mandate would be among a Biden–Harris administration’s “first orders of business.”
“You talked about the national mask mandate. It sounds like that would be one of the first orders of business,” NBC’s Craig Melvin pressed, according to the Daily Wire.
Harris was confident in her answer: “Yes.”
“A sacrifice we have to make”
According to the Daily Wire, Melvin asked Harris how such an order would be enforced.
“It’s really — it’s a standard,” she replied, as the Daily Wire reported. “I mean, nobody’s going to be punished. C’mon. Nobody likes to wear a mask. This is a universal feeling, right? So that’s not the point. ‘Hey, let’s enjoy wearing masks.’ No.”
The Democrat went on: “The point is this is what we, as responsible people who love our neighbor, we have to just do that right now. God willing, it won’t be forever. But this is a sacrifice we have to make.”
According to a report from the Associated Press, Harris suggested that the mandate is more about “what we — as responsible people who love our neighbor — we have to just do that right now.”
“Do the right thing”
The Trump administration, for its part, has similarly suggested that face coverings are important amid the coronavirus pandemic. But they haven’t suggested that the practice will be required.
“This administration really fights to protect our freedoms, but we want people to know freedom comes with responsibility and part of that responsibility means wearing a face covering when you go out,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said in a recent interview with Fox News, according to NBC. “I really do believe Americans will do the right thing,” he added.
It was a sentiment expressed by the president himself earlier this month.
“We want to have a certain freedom. That’s what we’re about,” Trump said, according to VOA News. “But frankly, what do you have to lose?”