August 14, 2020

Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris received an in-depth briefing on COVID-19 by public health experts Thursday — their first together as running mates. After the briefing, they delivered remarks together, at which Biden called for a national mandatory mask mandate lasting for three months. He called upon governors to institute such a mandate immediately, and lay heavy blame on Donald Trump for failing to act on this, saying it cost tens of thousands of lives.

BIDEN: Doesn't have anything to do with Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. It has to do with a simple proposition. Every single American should be wearing a mask when they're outside for the next three months at a minimum. Every governor should mandate, every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing. The estimates by the experts are it will save over 40,000 lives in the next three months. 40,000 lives. If people act responsibly. And it's not about your rights. It's about your responsibilities as an American.
Wearing a mask, every American wearing a mask outdoors is going to get our businesses back and to full strength long term. And we're going to get our country back on track. But again, when I get occasionally confronted with a person in the public about wearing a mask, I say look, this is America. Be a patriot. Protect your fellow citizens.
It's about saving America's lives. So let's institute a mask mandate nationwide. Starting immediately. And we will save lives. Estimates are we'll save over 40,000 lives in the next three months if that is done.

Sen. Harris followed up with strong support for Biden's leadership on this front, and expanded on his remarks with specifics of what the Biden/Harris administration would set in motion to help the nation recover from the pandemic. These included hiring 100,000 people to conduct contact tracing, and investing $25 billion to ensure that every single American can have equal access to a safe vaccine once it is developed.

SEN. HARRIS: And the need for this mandatory mask wearing will also be about what Joe has articulated and what a Biden/Harris administration will do in terms of creating a pandemic testing board to get tens of millions of testing kits where needed. To build a public health jobs corps, hiring at least 100,000 Americans to lead us through contact tracing as soon as we take office, and to chart a clear path forward for a safe and effective vaccine and guarantee every American, every American, equal access to it by investing $25 billion, which is Joe's plan, $25 billion in manufacturing and distribution.

And when Joe talks about this, I think it's important that the American people looking at the election coming up ask the current occupant of the White House when am I going to get vaccinated? When am I actually going to get vaccinated? Because there may be some grand gestures offered by the current president about a vaccine, but it really doesn't matter until you can answer the question, when am I going to get vaccinated? So again, Joe Biden is about real leadership in our country, and I'm honored to be with you, Joe. Thank you.

Wait, is this what responsible and intelligent leaders sound like again? I'd nearly forgotten.

Oh, and honestly, we shouldn't bother asking Trump when we'll get vaccinated. You know he's just going to answer, "On November 2nd!"

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