Madeline Sponsler, FISM News
In a rare break with mask-averse President Donald Trump, fellow Republican leaders are starting to advocate more for face coverings as COVID-19 cases surge in some Republican-leaning states.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there should be no stigma attached.
“Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter,” McConnell said on the floor of the Senate.
The top Republican in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, said Americans should follow the recommendations of health officials to wear masks and socially distance themselves to help slow the spread of infection.
“They should wear a mask,” McCarthy told CNBC on Monday after his home state of California began to roll back efforts to reopen the economy.
Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, where cases are spiking, posted a similar message on Twitter.
I am encouraging everyone to WEAR YOUR MASKS!
It’s one of the simplest and easiest ways to help stop the spread of #COVID19.
Let’s unite to protect each other. pic.twitter.com/T8tcHv1OUM
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) June 29, 2020
Trump has given different reasons for eschewing a mask in public. In April, Trump said he could not picture himself in a mask while greeting “presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens.” He also said he did not want to give journalists the pleasure of seeing him wear one.
Some Republicans in Congress have held off on wearing masks. Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas told CNN he would not wear one because “I don’t have the coronavirus.” Other Republicans have shied away from insisting Americans cover their faces in public, saying it was a matter of personal choice.
That began to change as coronavirus cases nationwide soared to record levels, prompting Republican-led states like Texas and Florida to reimpose restrictions, such as closing recently reopened bars.
Vice President Mike Pence encouraged Americans to wear masks during a visit to Texas on Sunday.
U.S. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Friday tweeted a photo of her father, Republican former Vice President Dick Cheney, wearing a surgical mask with the hashtag #realmenwearmasks.
Sourced from Reuters