WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris said Friday “nobody’s going to be punished” if she and running mate Joe Biden implement the nationwide mask mandate they have called for during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s really a standard. I mean, nobody’s gonna be punished. Come on,” the California senator said, laughing off a question about how to enforce such a rule during an interview that aired Friday on NBC’s “Today.” “Nobody likes to wear a mask. This is a universal feeling. Right? So that’s not the point, ‘Hey, let’s enjoy wearing masks.’ No.”
Harris suggested that, instead, the rule would be about “what we — as responsible people who love our neighbor — we have to just do that right now.”
“God willing, it won’t be forever,” she added.
Biden and Harris have worn face masks in public and stayed socially distanced from each other when appearing together at campaign events. Both have said for weeks that a rule requiring all Americans to wear them could save 40,000 lives in just a three-month period. While such an order may be difficult to impose at the federal level, Biden has called on every governor in the country to order mask-wearing in their states.
President Donald Trump has urged Americans to wear masks but opposes a national requirement. He has worn a mask when appropriate, as he has during visits to hospitals.