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White House chief of staff: national mask wearing mandate not in order

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On Monday, new White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said a national mandate to wear masks is not in order as states experience a surge in coronavirus cases.

“Well, it’s certainly a state-to-state issue, as we look across the country, obviously the narrative is the COVID cases are rising, but testing is rising exponentially. We’ve now tested almost 10 percent of our country,” Meadows said. “And yet when we look at masks and the wearing of masks, that’s done on a location basis, when you can’t have social distancing, but certainly a national mandate is not in order. We’re allowing governors and mayors to weigh in on that.”

Meadows said the president is looking forward to campaigning later this week in New Hampshire and hinted that masks may be required as a precaution.

“Obviously we’re looking forward to being in the Granite State and as we look at that it’s more a factor of precaution,” he said. “We’re a nation of freedoms and certainly we want to make sure people are free to assemble.”

The former congressman says that as states continue to open, masks should be used if appropriate.

“President Trump mentioned he is willing to wear a mask if appropriate in tight quarters,” Meadows said. “I know a number of us have done the same and it’s all to make sure that we deal with the virus and make sure the American people know that help is on the way.”

Meadows praised the president’s handling of the coronavirus.

“When we had testing problems, this president acted. When we had problems with ventilators, this president acted. When we had problems with PPP, this president acted. “And there is good news on the way. Whether it’s therapeutics or a vaccine, help is on the way. We will be able to make sure that we deliver those by the end of the year.”

As of Monday, the U.S. reported more than 2.88 million positive cases of COVID-19 and more than 132,000 deaths.

While Meadows doesn’t see a need for a national mask requirement he does support those decisions being made on the local level. In the last few days, several Republican and Democrat governors have rolled out new mask requirements.

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