- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2020

President Trump faulted Joseph R. Biden for not requiring Americans to wear face masks in public — a mandate his Democratic rival cannot impose on account of not currently holding public office.

Mr. Trump attempted to shift blame on Mr. Biden while responding to a question regarding his handling of COVID-19, the disease the novel coronavirus causes, during a town hall event Tuesday.

“Wearing a mask has proven to lessen the spread of COVID. Why don’t you support a mandate for national mask-wearing, and why don’t you wear a mask more often?” asked a member of the audience.

“Well, I do wear them when I have to and when I’m in hospitals and other locations, but I will say this: They said at the Democrat convention they are going to do a national mandate. They never did it. Because they’ve checked out and they didn’t do it,” the president replied.

Mr. Trump then said a “good question” would be to ask Mr. Biden about having called for a nationwide face-covering mandate but failing to follow through.



The moderator of the debate, ABC host George Stephanopoulos, interjected to say Mr. Biden encouraged governors throughout the U.S. to impose statewide mandates requiring face masks in public.

Mr. Trump quickly pushed back, adding: “Well no, but he didn’t do it. I mean, he never did it.”

Speaking last month during the Democratic National Committee, Mr. Biden said every governor should mandate mask-wearing and noted that experts believe it could save 40,000 lives in three months.

More recently, Mr. Biden responded to the president’s latest attack in a fundraising pitch later Tuesday by noting he presently lacks the authority to impose any sort of national mandate.

“To be clear: I am not currently president,” Mr. Biden said on Twitter. “But if you chip in now, we can change that in November.”

Scientists agree people can slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks that cover their mouth and nose since the contagious disease can be transmitted when a carrier talks, coughs or sneezes.

Mr. Trump has been spotted rarely wearing a mask in public since the coronavirus pandemic erupted earlier this year. Mr. Biden has comparatively worn masks in public more regularly.

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