Democrats Propose Law to Compel Mask-Wearing

By Michael W. Chapman | December 4, 2020 | 10:33am EST
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- In an attempt to compel the states to impose mask-wearing mandates on its citizens to combat COVID-19, two prominent Democratic senators have introduced legislation that would provide money to states and local governments, if they follow the mask-mandates proposed.

The bill is entitled, "Encouraging Masks for All Act of 2020," and it was introduced on Nov. 25 by left-wing Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). 

As the bill states, it would "provide funds [$5 billion in total] for addressing COVID-19 conditioned on requiring the use of face coverings in public, and for other purposes."

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)   (Getty Images)
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) (Getty Images)

The proposal would authorize the Department of Health and Human Services to disperse the funds in the form of grants to those states or local government, or Tribal governments that require "face coverings in public" and "in each place of business."

Inside of businesses and even outside where the gatherings are close, the masks would be required.  Exceptions would be allowed for children age two and younger; when people are eating; if a person has a medical condition that prohibits mask wearing; and outside when there is plenty of room for people to spread out (socially distance at least six feet).

The bill also requires people to wear a face mask when in all federal facilities.

States that do not impose a face mask rule cannot receive any of the federal funding. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) (Getty Images)

“Masks and face coverings are the essential public health tool to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic” said Senator Markey in a press release. “As President-elect Biden recognizes, we need to use every technique available to us to encourage mask use, from clear communication of the need for masks, to providing masks to those who need them, to leading by example, and even to mandating mask use nationwide."

"Our legislation would move us closer to goal of ensuring universal mask adoption during these dangerous winter months," said Markey. "It would also ensure that essential workers in transit, health care, and retail settings all over the country are protected with face masks. Mask up!”

Senator Blumenthla said,  “With cases skyrocketing as we head into the holidays, the Encouraging Masks for All Act would bring us closer to ensuring every American has a face mask and wears it."

"Even with a vaccine, mask wearing is an essential tool in conquering COVID-19, along with physical distancing and other common sense public health steps," he said.  "This bill gives states the resources to encourage mask wearing in public and outdoors, to provide masks to those who need them, and to enforce mask mandates to protect public health.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC), "Face masks help prevent people who have COVID-19, including those who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic, from spreading the virus to others. Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.... Using masks along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, is one of the most effective strategies available for reducing COVID-19 transmission."

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