California Sen. Dianne Feinstein proposed that states that refuse to impose a mask mandate to prevent the spread of coronavirus should not receive the same financial aid that other states are getting. Feinstein issued a public statement on Thursday outlining this idea, according to a report by Fox News. It is meant to end the politicizing and debate around face masks.
"Wearing masks in public should be mandatory. Period," Feinstein said in her public statement. She pointed out that her state and others have already instituted mask mandates, including Alabama and Montana. Elsewhere, the decision is left up to individual counties, cities or towns, and Feinstein said that it is clear how that is working out. "The situation is getting worse daily," she wrote.
"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 went on.
Discussion of a governmental mask mandate has been increasing recently as more and more large companies are making masks mandatory in their retail locations. This week, Best Buy and Walmart both made a huge splash by announcing that covers are now mandatory at all locations. They join Starbucks in enacting this measure.
Many people have said that it should not be up to these private companies to take this action but to the elected leaders. So far, 28 states plus Washington, D.C. have statewide mask mandates for indoor and public spaces. While these can be hard to enforce, proponents note that it is easier for a state to enforce them than for a private business.
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."
"Research shows that masks reduce transmission of the coronavirus," she went on. "CDC Director Redfield said this surge in COVID-19 cases could end within two months if we adopt 'universal masking.' 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?"