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Mandate

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President Joe Biden's pleas for states to stick with mask mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus were being largely ignored Tuesday as several Republican governors stayed on track to drop the requirement in their states.

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I think it is unlikely that there’s a substantial difference. I mean, the typical type of a mask is the surgical mask. It’s not an N95 mask. One that has thick cloth, you know, can be equally as effective. We believe there may be some small differences between them, but the main purpose is that you prevent yourself from infecting others. Recent studies have shown that (wearing a mask) also has the good effect of partially protecting you. So it goes both ways.

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That’s really one of the reasons there’s a reticence on the part of many people, including myself (to support a national mandate). If you have a mandate, you have to enforce it. And, hopefully, we can convince people when they see what is going on in the country. But I have to tell you, Elisabeth, I was stunned by the fact that in certain areas of the country, even though the devastation of the outbreak is clear, some people are still saying it’s fake news. That is a very difficult thing to get over: why people still insist that something that’s staring you right in the face is not real.

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I think that there should be universal wearing of masks. If we can accomplish that with local mayors, governors, local authorities, fine. If not, we should seriously consider national. The only reason that I shy away from making a strong recommendation in that regard is that things that come from the national level down generally engender a bit of pushback from an already reluctant populace that doesn’t like to be told what to do. So you might wind up having the countereffect of people pushing back even more.

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In other areas, Trump's record has been more mixed. On health care, Republicans in Congress did repeal the Obama-era individual mandate forcing people to buy health insurance, but he failed to replace the Affordable Care Act with an alternative, despite frequent promises to present his own plan.

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