Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday encouraged people living in areas with coronavirus outbreaks to wear a mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
At a press conference with officials from the Texas and Trump administration at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, Pence clearly called on Americans to “wear a mask, wherever indicated.”
“We encourage everyone to wear a mask in the affected areas,” said Pence. “Where social distancing cannot be maintained, wearing a mask is a good idea, especially young people,” he added.
Also at the press conference, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson said that the widespread use of masks will allow citizens to regain freedoms more quickly.
Pence, who donned a mask earlier Sunday, visited Texas as she is seeing a significant increase in cases and the United States set a new record for single-day coronavirus cases with reports of approximately 46,000 on Friday. That total was fueled by more than 8,000 new cases in Florida and thousands more in Arizona, California and Texas, according to an NBC News count.
According to an NBC News count, there have been more than 125,000 coronavirus deaths in the U.S.
Pence had previously postponed some planned appearances in Arizona and Florida this week “as a precaution” due to virus spikes in those states, a Trump campaign official said. Pence is still expected to travel to those states to meet with locals. officials
In a previous interview with “Face the Nation,” Pence said the administration believes that people should wear masks where requested by state or local authorities.
In a Sunday interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar warned that “the window is closing” to take steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“We have to act, and people and people must act responsibly,” he said. “We need social distance, we need to wear facial covers if we are in environments where we cannot social distance, particularly in these hot spots.”
President Donald Trump has generally refused to wear a mask in public settings, although he did wear it during a private tour of a Ford plant in Michigan weeks ago.
The Trump administration’s puzzling stance on facial coatings has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle.
“The president should be an example. You know, real men wear masks,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on ABC “This Week” Sunday. “Be an example to the country and wear the mask … It is not about protecting yourself, it is about protecting others and their families.”
“Right now, we are on an urgent national mission, or should be, to mask ourselves,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said in “Face the Nation.” “And the fact is, Donald Trump is to mask himself as George Wallace was for integration.”
Speaking to CBS Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA on Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden, the alleged 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said: “The only thing we know is that these masks make a gigantic difference.”
“I would insist that everyone in public wear that mask,” he said.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Tweeted a photo of her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, wearing a cowboy hat and mask along with the caption “Dick Cheney Says WEAR A MASK. #Realmenwearmasks” on Friday.