Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for everyone to wear masks in public even as his party’s leader refuses to wear one or require them at his events.
McConnell said on the Senate floor that the only “middle ground” until a vaccine is available is social distance and to wear masks.
"We need new routines, new rhythms and new strategies for this new middle ground in between. It's the task of each family, each small business, each employer and all levels of government to apply common sense and make this happen. To name just on example, we must have no stigma — none — about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people," he said.
"Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves. It is about protecting everyone we encounter," he added.
Pence urges masks too:
Vice President Mike Pence also urged masks to contain the spread.
“If your local officials, in consultation with the state, are directing you to wear a mask, we encourage everyone to wear a mask in the affected areas. And where you can’t maintain social distancing, wearing a mask is just a good idea,” Pence said. “And it will, we know, from experience, will slow the spread of the coronavirus.”
Later that day, he attended an event where a choir of 100 people sang without masks.
White House won’t encourage masks:
Despite McConnell’s and Pence’s statements, the White House refuses to encourage mask-wearing.
“It’s a personal choice of any individual as to whether to wear a mask or not,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. “He encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety, but he did say to me he has no problem with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests of you.”
“So the CDC guidelines are they’re recommended, but not required,” she added. “The President would encourage everyone to follow the orders of their local jurisdiction and CDC guidelines.”