Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. Surgeon General and the head of President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisory board, called for universal mask mandates in August.
In addition to calling for a nationwide mandate, Murthy also tweeted that the federal government should be producing masks for Americans to use free of charge in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
3 key points on masks and #COVID19:
1. Masks are low cost life savers.
2. We need universal mask mandates. Waiting for an outbreak to mask up is acting too late.
3. Our government should be making billions of good quality masks for the PUBLIC. They are a best buy (see #1).
— Vivek Murthy (@vivek_murthy) August 15, 2020
Biden announced his coronavirus advisory board Monday and has been briefed by them multiple times since he became president-elect. Though the former vice president originally supported a nationwide mask mandate himself, he recently backtracked, saying that he only would enforce masks on federal lands and instead urge state and local authorities to adopt the measures themselves. (RELATED: Biden: ‘Wearing A Mask Is How We Get Our Nation Back Up To Speed Economically’)
The board also includes Dr. Rick Bright, who was fired from the Trump administration in April after alleging that it had ignored his warnings over how dangerous the virus was.
Biden’s plan also comes as the confirmed coronavirus cases soar to record highs across the United States. The country has averaged over 100,000 daily cases for the past week, and crossed 10 million cases over the weekend, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
Though the virus is surging at an alarming rate, Pfizer said Monday that their vaccine was over 90% effective, a promising step in the fight against the virus. The company received a $1.95 billion contract to provide its coming vaccine to Americans free of charge, though it self-funded its research and development.
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