Biden Changes His Mind about National Mask Mandate

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden takes off his mask before speaking during an event in Dover, Del., Friday, June 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is “rethinking” his call for a national mask mandate, saying he wouldn’t issue any binding orders because he believes it would be unconstitutional.

The former vice president has threatened to use the powers of the presidency to force Americans to wear masks, but on Sunday he backtracked during an interview with AZFamily’s “Politics Unplugged.”

When Biden was asked to comment on President Trump’s more targeted coronavirus approach, which gives more authority to the governors, Biden said, “Well, I hope you could trust the governors.”
Most of the governors have reacted favorably to Trump leaving the mask decisions up to them.

Biden added that he may have prematurely overstepped his authority, “But here’s the deal, the federal government — there’s a constitutional issue whether federal government could issue such a mandate. I don’t think constitutionally they could, so I wouldn’t issue a mandate.”

Given the legal challenges, Biden said, he would “plead with” people to wear a mask, adding, “I’d set an example.”

Biden then noted that case rates were dropping in places where local authorities had implemented mask orders.