As the United States death toll from the CCP virus surpasses 100,000, and states are at various stages of reopening public places, there is inconsistency about the requirements on where and who should wear a mask in public.
Seven states require their residents to cover their faces when they visit essential businesses or use public transportation. Connecticut, Maryland, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island have made it mandatory to wear a mask.
The other 43 states are recommending it in accordance with the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines but there is no consequence for going without one.
Guidance from the CDC recommends Americans wear masks when they are in public areas and unable to keep six feet of distance from others in an effort to slow the spread of the disease.
On Capitol Hill, for example, The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is requiring its staff to wear face coverings, but that directive does not extend to lawmakers and their aides. The AOC staff preserves and maintains the historic buildings, monuments, and gardens on the Capitol campus.
Senators and Representatives who choose not to wear masks are expected to maintain six feet of distance from others and avoid physical contact, but Capitol Police will not take any action if they do not wear a face covering.
The Senate is, conducting business on Capitol Hill but the House has only some Representatives working on the Hill and some members are using the proxy vote option.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) encouraged Americans to wear face masks and to abide by social distancing guidelines as states gradually reopen.
“There’s no stigma attached to wearing a mask,” McConnell said at an event in Kentucky, according to Politico. “There’s no stigma attached to staying six feet apart.”
The Kentucky senator was reportedly directing his message to young citizens, point out that they have an “obligation to others,” because they could be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
“That’s not too much to ask of a younger person,” he said, “So to get through this next phase, as we ease back into normal, even if you’re in a low-risk category, do what we’re asking you to do for the good of others as we begin to move back to normal.”
“Just because you’re 21, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to other people, even though your chances of having a problem are pretty slim,” McConnell added. “I think the more we can say that the better.”
McConnell’s comments came the same day the United States reported nearly 1.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and about 100,400 deaths caused by it, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said that they support the CDC recommendations to wear face masks.
“Wearing a cloth mask is not a substitute for staying home and regularly washing our hands, but it is an important complement. By wearing a cloth mask when in public, we will limit transmission of the virus, which can be spread through saliva emitted via cough, sneeze, or even when speaking and breathing. Put simply, my mask protects you, and your mask protects me,” the two senators said in a statement recently.
Amid the pandemic, Trump has generally resisted calls to wear a face covering in public. However, he was photographed wearing one while touring the Ford factory in Michigan last week.