Sen. Feinstein calls for zero funding to states that don’t require masks
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is calling for federal funding to stop being sent to states that refuse to mandate face masks, saying that they are putting the public health of Americans at risk. She plans to offer the amendment to the upcoming Senate coronavirus relief legislation.
“Wearing masks in public should be mandatory. Period,” Feinstein said. “The situation is getting worse daily. Several states including California, Alabama and Montana already require masks in public. This should be universal.
“My hope has been that other governors would show the leadership to institute their own mask mandates, but so far that hasn’t happened. It’s time for Congress to step in. This is a matter of life or death, and partisan politics shouldn’t play a role,” she said.
Mask mandates have been growing in states, cities and major retailers as the coronavirus continues to spike across the country. Most public health officials say that wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of the virus. The CDC recommends everyone wear a face covering in public settings because COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
Although many Republican officials have joined the call for wearing masks, most continue to say that mandates violate personal liberties. In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is currently suing Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a possible vice-presidential contender, to block her from requiring masks in her city.
Feinstein says masks are essential to getting the virus under control.
“In the last two weeks, 41 states saw an increase in coronavirus cases, with a total of 3.5 million infected nationwide,” Feinstein said. “California, Florida and New York each topped 300,000 cases, and Texas will soon follow. We’ve seen 60,000 new cases in five of the last six days. We’re failing to control this virus and it’s time for serious action.”
The California Democrat says research shows that masks reduce transmission of the coronavirus.
“Businesses like Walmart, Kohl’s and Kroger now require masks. And countries that are successfully controlling this virus require masks. So why doesn’t the United States have a national mask mandate,” asked Feinstein.
So far, 28 states and Washington D.C. have statewide mask requirements in place for indoor and public spaces.
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