“We will need to have no stigma — none — about carrying masks after we depart our properties and are available close to different folks,” McConnell stated in Senate flooring remarks Monday afternoon. “Sporting easy face coverings is just not about defending ourselves. It’s about defending everybody we encounter.”
The virus has killed greater than 123,000 folks in america, and U.S. circumstances make up by far the most important share of the worldwide caseload. On Sunday, the U.S. surpassed 2.5 million confirmed circumstances amid a brand new spike in infections in Texas, Florida, California and different Southern and Western states.
McConnell contracted polio as a 2-year-old in Alabama, and he has spoken in current months about how the coronavirus disaster has made him take into consideration his personal life in addition to the worry People felt in the course of the polio epidemic that hit the nation many years in the past.
McConnell has additionally careworn the significance of carrying face masks throughout appearances in Kentucky and in feedback to reporters.
On his journey to Dallas on Sunday, Pence attended a briefing with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), White Home coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx and Housing and City Improvement Secretary Ben Carson. All 4 had been carrying face masks as they entered and left the assembly.
Because the pandemic has swept throughout the U.S., members of the White Home coronavirus process power have sometimes not worn masks and have stood shut to one another at media briefings, and Trump has ceaselessly ridiculed reporters and others for carrying face coverings.
The battle in Congress over face coverings has at occasions grown tense. Final week, Home Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), who chairs the Choose Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Disaster, threatened to finish the apply of holding in-person hearings as a result of some Republicans on the panel refused to put on masks.
Republicans, a number of of whom had worn masks into the listening to room earlier than taking them off, contended that they may apply social distancing safely whereas seated maskless on the dais.
On Monday, Clyburn sent a letter to the highest Republican on the subcommittee, Rep. Steve Scalise (La.), informing him that any member who doesn’t want to put on a masks could be a part of the upcoming hearings by way of videoconference — however won’t be allowed to take part in individual.
Within the letter, Clyburn famous that the Workplace of the Attending Doctor has issued steering stating that face coverings are required for Home conferences held “in a restricted enclosed house, equivalent to a committee listening to room, for better than 15 minutes.”
“The Attending Doctor’s pointers clarify that the masks requirement is along with — not a substitute for — social distancing pointers,” Clyburn stated. He added: “Sadly, the Republican Members’ refusal to put on masks undermined the security of everybody within the listening to room.”
Robert Costa and Annie Linskey contributed to this report.