As he fumbled with his mask throughout the interview, Joe Biden said on Thursday that he would use all powers at his disposal to force all Americans to wear a mask in public.
Asked by CBS’s Ken Rice if he could imagine accepting the Democratic nomination in an “empty room” or “on YouTube” — Biden replied, “I can’t say for sure, but it’s probable that will be the case.”
Q: I know you have been critical of the president’s handling of the pandemic in the past. But let’s look ahead. If you became president tomorrow, what would you do differently regarding the pandemic and getting these surging cases now under control?
Biden: I would go back to making sure that everybody had masks, that you had PPE [personal protective equipment] lined up, we’d have been making sure we stockpile all the things that we need that we don’t have now. The one thing we do know, these masks make a gigantic difference. I would insist that everybody out in public be wearing that mask. Anyone to reopen — would have to make sure that they walked in their business that had masks.
Q: Couldn’t you use the federal leverage to mandate that, though?
Q: Would you?
Biden: Yes, I would from an executive standpoint, yes, i would.
Q: So you would, in effect, mandate the wearing of masks.
Biden: I would do everything possible to make it required that people had to wear masks in public.