Biden calls for mask mandates nationwide for 3 months, targeting Trump's pandemic response

Joe Biden calls on governors to mandate masks for the next three months: 'Let's institute a mask mandate, nationwide, starting immediately—and we will save lives.'

8/14/2020 7:51:00 AM

Joe Biden calls on governors to mandate masks for the next three months: 'Let's institute a mask mandate, nationwide, starting immediately—and we will save lives.'

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris are ramping up criticism of President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis heading into the election.

.Trump fired back at an evening news conference, saying,"We want to have a certain freedom, that's what we’re about.""He wants the federal government to issue a sweeping new mandate to law-abiding citizens, wants the president of the United States with the mere stroke of a pen to order over 300 million American citizens to wear a mask for a minimum of three straight months," Trump said.

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President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at the White House, Aug. 13, 2020.President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at the White House, Aug. 13, 2020.

Kevin Lamarque/ReutersBiden, notably, called on governors to issue mask mandates in their states, though Trump said Biden doesn't understand the powers of the president to issue such an order."Different states are much different, both in terms of the atmosphere itself and also in terms of the corona problem," Trump continued."He does not identify what authority the president has to issue such a mandate or how federal law enforcement could possibly enforce it or why we would be stepping on governors throughout our country, many of whom have done a very good job and they know what is needed."

While Biden said he was leaning on health experts in making the call, Trump continued to question the effectiveness of masks, saying"maybe they are just good, maybe they are not so good."MORE: Coronavirus updates: Fauci says temperature checks not reliable

Though Biden has previously supported nationwide mask-wearing, he specified his call in remarks earlier Thursday, saying that every American should wear a mask when they're in public for the next three months"at a minimum" and every governor should make it a mandate immediately.

"Today I want to talk about one thing, very straightforward. It doesn't have anything to do with Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. It has to do with a simple simple proposition," Biden said following acoronavirusbriefing with his newly-minted running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, continuing the main attack line he and Harris started making in their nationwide debut on Wednesday.

It's not lost on the Biden-Harris campaign that it took the president two months to wear a mask in public after he first announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on the practice in a news conference.MORE: Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate

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"The estimates by the experts are it will save over 40,000 lives in the next three months. 40,000 lives if people act responsibly. And it's not about your rights. It's about your responsibilities as an American," Biden said.Biden said he hopes the president has"learned the lesson" now that masks save lives but added it's not about politics.

"Look, this is America. Be a patriot. Protect your fellow citizens. Protect your fellow citizens. Step up. Do the right thing. Do the right thing," Biden implored."So let's institute a mask mandate nationwide, starting immediately."

Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden (R), and vice presidential running mate, US Senator Kamala Harris, hold a press conference after receiving a briefing on COVID-19 in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 13, 2020.Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden (R), and vice presidential running mate, US Senator Kamala Harris, hold a press conference after receiving a briefing on COVID-19 in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 13, 2020.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty ImagesHarris, speaking after Biden, said the call for a mask mandate"real leadership.""What real leadership looks like is Joe Biden. To speak up. Sometimes, telling us the stuff that we don't necessarily want to hear, but we need to know," Harris said.

Harris also encouraged the public to keep pressure on the Trump administration for a timeline on a vaccine forCOVID-19."I think it's important that the American people looking at the election coming up, ask the current occupant of the White House, 'When am I going to get vaccinated?'" she said."Because there may be some grand gestures offered by the current president, about a vaccine, but it really doesn't matter until you can answer the question."

Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden (L), and vice presidential running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, hold a press conference after receiving a briefing on COVID-19 in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 13, 2020.Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden (L), and vice presidential running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, hold a press conference after receiving a briefing on COVID-19 in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 13, 2020.

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Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty ImagesHeading into the election, the coronavirus is an issue at the top of the ticket for many voters -- and Democrats want to highlight to voters how they say their ticket would handle the deadly pandemic better than the president.

Earlier Thursday, inside a makeshift, television-like studio at a hotel in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, Biden and Harris participated in their first joint COVID-19 briefing with health care experts over a video call as deaths from the virus rise in the United States.

MORE: Kamala Harris receives strong marks as Joe Biden's VP: POLLSeated at spaced-out tables that faced one another before a large screen that featured at least four doctors -- at least some of whom have been regularly briefing Biden for the last four months -- the candidates briefly spoke with reporters before their later remarks.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris are seated prior to participating in a briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic from public health officials during a campaign stop in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 13, 2020.Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris are seated prior to participating in a briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic from public health officials during a campaign stop in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 13, 2020.

Carlos Barria/Reuters"These are some of the brightest minds, not only in our country but internationally. And as the vice president has been saying since the beginning of this pandemic it should be the public health professionals that are leading policy in our country to address this lethal pandemic," Harris told reporters.

The Biden-Harris campaign presented the event as two briefings in one that will address both the public health crisis and the economic downturn from the pandemic -- with former Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen appearing as a part of the group briefing the candidates on the economy.

Biden said the briefing focused on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on different races and the availability of PPE and testing capacity.The events come one day after Biden and Harris' first joint appearance as running mates in which the pair slammed Trump's response to the coronavirus crisis.

MORE: Biden and Harris make 1st appearance as historic Democratic ticket"This virus has impacted almost every country, but there's a reason it has hit America worse than any other advanced nation. It's because of Trump's failure to take it seriously from the start," Harris said Wednesday, the same day the U.S. reported its highest number of deaths from coronavirus in a single day since mid-May.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listens as his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during a campaign event at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 12, 2020.Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listens as his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during a campaign event at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Del., Aug. 12, 2020.

Carolyn Kaster/APBiden called out Trump for touting himself as a dealmaker yet taking to the golf course instead of working across the aisle on a coronavirus relief deal for Americans while negotiations hit an impasse"like every other president has done in a crisis, to get Americans the relief they need and deserve."

Together the two hit on the president's mixed messages on the virus since it arrived on U.S. soil.Trump continued to hold mega-rallies through June, despite warnings from health care experts to limit group events, especially indoors, due to social distancing concerns, and he largely stopped holding public coronavirus briefings at the end of April, until recently reviving them three months later in late July amid poor polling numbers.

President Donald Trump speaks about a peace deal reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates from the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Aug. 13, 2020.President Donald Trump speaks about a peace deal reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates from the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Aug. 13, 2020.

Kevin Lamarque/ReutersThe federal government still largely lacks a national strategy on reopening schools, a point the Biden and Harris campaign are likely to seize on, while Trump continues the push for full in-person instruction.Harris on Wednesday took a quick swipe at Trump on schools calling the current state over when and how to reopen"complete chaos."

Countdown to ConventionsBoth campaigns also have the challenge of delivering acceptance speeches in the time of COVID-19, largely without the pomp and circumstance of previous years.The Biden campaign confirmed Thursday that Biden and Harris will both give their acceptance speeches for the Democratic National Convention at the Chase Center, a large event space on the waterfront in Wilmington, Delaware.

MORE: Trump says he might accept GOP nomination at 'Great Battlefield of Gettysburg'Trump said he'll deliver his acceptance speech from the White House of the battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, despite criticism to both venues.And in spite of the Democratic National Convention making the move to have all its speakers appear virtually instead of in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Trump announced he would travel to Wisconsin Monday, the first day of the DNC.

"I'll be there, as a matter of fact, on Monday and many times throughout the campaign and beyond," Trump said on a tele-rally with supporters Wednesday night. Read more: ABC News »

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Please DEFEAT TRUMP....HE IS EVIL Methinks more lives saved than masks, if no street drugs for three months and put a few stooges/pushers on unemployment. Wearing yours over your eyes, again, Joe? 'I've got the, got the hairy legs, an an the kids reach unner the water and touch 'em....' 🙄 First of all, there's no solid science to back this up. Also, the VP pick is interesting. This is all crazy.

Biden = Leader. National mask mandate should have been implemented in April. BidenHarris2020 Interesting how he’s been campaigning for a while now but not a mention about what he would do for the pandemic until Harris came along! Now all of a sudden mandate masks. What took him so long. He best watch his back. Harris wants to be president

President Donald Trump accused the media of trying to 'COVID shame' him for having a large rally but not applying the same standard to protesters. President Trump is your President joe biden Wheres your Mask? FALSE- First of all - very many are wearable dirty, germy masks - they will just spread more germs - especially when they touch their masks, then touch other things. This is particularly true for children!!

Lol save lives who’s dying? The rate is lower than last years monthly deadly rates.... Would love for the media to ask him some pertinent questions and for him to answer them. Where's Joe's mask? While not wearing a mask. Did he mention governors? Did I mishear him? Soft N Weak Where did he say governors? We have one in West Virginia and most people just ignore it.

Authoritarian nonsense Oh lying fascist ABC! If Trump had called for mandatory masks, u would have called him a dictator! Alzheimer Joe says it and he’s a hero! Trump has always said wear a mask but has always said it is up to the governors! Lying fscist hypocrtical lying BIGOTS, ABC! So DEMOCRATIC'S can cheat because everyone knows they can't WIN without CHEATING! DEMOCRATIC'S ARE LOSER'S! THEY KILL STEAL & DESTROY!

the issue is enclosed spaces not outside 🤦🏾‍♀️. People are past the masks and realize the death rate is .5 % survival is 99.5 % most people I know are like l, bring it on give it to me so I can get it and be over it. Fvck your mask Joe. So... this is all political. There is NO science supporting this. factsoverfear ReOpenAmerica

👏👏👏👏👏👏 MSM/Dems: Mandate a lockdown Trump: Can't, up to the states Trump: We should end lockdown and open schools. MSM/Dems: You can't tell the states what to do: Biden: I'll order a mask mandate. MSM/Dems: Good, you should Do you not see a problem with this? King Biden.... Clown 🤡 Go away Joe Communist

Trump has been saying that all along!!!🤷🏿‍♂️🤷🏿‍♂️🤷🏿‍♂️ Just make sure your wearing one too Let’s see you enforce it. Go to the home!! The problem is exactly what you are seeing now in the US, two week quarantine to curb hospital overcrowding, now it’s a year+. Masks makes sense’ but the it becomes an authoritative tool. Frankly too many people are willing to give up freedom forever to be safe.

If masks work so well, why not issue them to prisoners instead of release them....🤔🤔🤔. He looks so tired F U . Plagiarizing Speech , Did you & Greta get together Blindly wearing a mask outside in the fresh air when nobody is nearby is the ultimate dumbing down of America. Governors and Politicians make across the board decisions without allowing We The People to have any say or exercise any good discretion or common sense.

Isn't he jumping the gun a bit? Not to mention, we've been wearing those damn masks for 5 months now! Where is his mask? Yeah right crazy sleepy Joe. CA Health Dept many others, unless its a N95, masks are pretty much worthless..... And since masks are the answer, we can open the polls. No need for mail in voting. Brilliant! 😂

But you’re not wearing a mask right now. I mean. 😑 For 3 months! The election will cure everything! He’s off his rocker Biden/Harris can't take questions? This gotta be a first? If they can't take questions they can't be president? And let's mandate tap be put on joe Biden and his running mate for the next 3 months

But if realDonaldTrump said this-democrats would want him impeached! 😂😂😂 Why are the ones complaining about gathering in a pandemic the same ones who promote protesting and holding funerals during a pandemic? No discrepancy? Yeah right. First of all he can not mandate anything. He is NOT the president. And 2nd he will never be president. So he can take his mandates and stick them up Kamela ass.

Yesyesyesyesyes!!!!!! Finally someone making sense!!!!! Let's JUST DO THIS AND GET IT OVER WITH ONCE AND FOR ALL. STOP PUSSYFOOTING AROUND AMERICA!!!!!!! 🤣🤣🤣 JoeBiden you are free to wear a mask as other Americans are free not to. This is America, not China. what a monkey nut Sounds like he thinks he's president already.

F off 🖕🏼 Then why did the democrats hammered Trumps decision to stop people coming from China early on? They protested masks back in 1918 during the Spanish flu epidemic. People are just like that. Plus there were race riots back then, too. None of this is new. This already happened. Also, he hasn’t been elected so wtf is he talking about? 😂😂😂😂😂

Is this what people want? Good god. Cannon Hinnants life mattered! CHLM Let's post it everywhere you arent a prez yet. good move though Biden accepted bribes from China, traitor Joe Biden supports violent Marxist revolutionary groups like BLM and Antifa that are burning, looting, and killing people right now. He should start with calling for end to the rioting, if he wants to stop spreading Covid.

He’s a idiot!!! JoeBiden is a racist! Period! End of debate... VoteTrump VoteGop Thank you, saving lives matter, preventing others from getting sick matters.. 165,000 are gone, many of these could of been prevented, thank you Joe Biden for caring and thank you Mandate getting ridiculous now Within hours of President Trump's decision to restrict travel from China on Jan. 31, top Democrats and media figures immediately derided the move as unnecessary and xenophobic Democrats are clowns.

Joke Biden is calling for a mask mandate while he fails to wear one. Again...a Democrat telling you do as I say not as I do. You wear a mask so Scranton Joe doesn’t have to. He’s a jagoff! Mandate? People should have the right to choose! All a setup. You know it commie station. What the fuck have we been doing Joe?

Yes should be the way . At least prevention better than cure . It will safe human lives that matters. I agree with the mask mandate. He is not connected yet. Where's his mask then? In the name of Jesus I declare that Joe Biden to publicly confess his sins of corruption and deception and ask Jesus Christ to forgive him and restore him.

He’s a joke Good thing he's not the President. Who is going to enforce this? The cops everyone hating on and want to defund? I wear mask and most people do as a preventive care to self and others. Most states already have this in place, Joe just now wants to be relevant! If we ban automobiles we will save lives too. If ban abortion we will save lives too. If put enough police on the street to end violence we will save lives too. If elect Trump to a second term we will save lives too. Many Governors have & they don't enforce it correctly. All talk

Masks, scientifically proven to be ineffective against coronavirus, have nevertheless become quasi-religious talismans against the evil virus. I think he’s a good man . Put your masks on. Work together and live. you will not know had /have Covid until you get tested ..so wear a mask 0r show your results

So Biden should be a dictator that some claim Trump to be? Take the power to make decisions away from governors that was given to them by their states electorate and the constitution? This is about mail in voting. Do the math. Even liberals have 3 fingers. 3 months? after mail in voting, covid magically disappears?

Enough with the bullshit...Joe is a racist and Harris is a liar. ✌🏽 people will say, 'I'm not sick' but how do you know ? Probably no one has told Joe that ready access to hydroxychloroquine may do a better job than those mind control masks. What a real leader looks like Someone read him the 10th Amendment please.

How many people have you seen gasping for air while a global pandemic is in effect caused by a respiratory disease? And that is Biden’s BIG PLAN that is different from Trump? To BEG (that’s all a president can do, and follower Biden is good in begging) governors to institute mask mandate? Are you fu**en kidding me? Like the governors lived in ignorance the last 6 months!

BidenIsARacist It does make me wonder how many people died from singing ? Why aren't they putting a mandate on the companies that sell us all the harmful foods that cause diseases like colon cancer? Totalitarian asshole. During this pandemic, I have lost my job, my partner and about to lose my house. I have two young boys and no income. If you can help, my cash app is $athastings07. Thank you and God bless.

How can he mandate anything? Another Democrat probably invested in the facial mask industry. Let the American ppl make me more wealthy. My prediction Biden will win, the Trump will have him taken out by his secret police force. He already said he will punish every unloyal American. Trump is the last president this country will ever see. He'll have Russian military come in and subdue all his challengers.

Biden is delusional and weak ! Biden is helping President Trump's re-election campaign! ABCCP This is what leadership is! Viejo pajuato! Did I read correctly that he wants a law to require masks outside? stupid I am all for masks inside but you have to make this something that people can deal with.

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Biden looks to former Fed Chair Yellen for economic adviceYellen, now a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution, was among a handful of economists who on Thursday briefed Biden about an economy that has been reeling during the five-month coronavirus pandemic, according to the campaign. Clinging to the past which is what u do when u have amnesia Anyone is better than the current admin. They are all f liars Janet was chair of the Fed for 4 years, Joe was VP of the entire US and it’s economy for 8 years. She should be asking him for economic advice!

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Zerlina Maxwell: Biden helped set up the first woman president to be a Black womanZerlina Maxwell tells Lawrence O’Donnell that Joe Biden picking Kamala Harris to be his running mate signals that he’s listening to Black women and that he wants a Black woman in the White House as president. ZerlinaMaxwell 😍 ZerlinaMaxwell Who ever wins we are STILL DOOMED 🙊 potus position with full intent to use him and unseat him by abusing the clause in our constitution. I hope Americans can clearly see this abuse of our system. dnc will break all laws, abuse all systems, disrespect every tenet of our Constitution in this Era. (2/2)

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