With the increase of coronavirus cases, Democrats rally to support a bill that would make face masks mandatory inside federal buildings.
Texas Rep. Sylvia R. García is seeking to pass a bill that would require everyone that enters a federal building to wear a mask. While some city leaders have already made wearing a mask mandatory inside businesses, Rep. García wants to push the CDC recommendation and expand it to federally owned and leased businesses. Yesterday, she introduced the Wear Your Mask Act and wants to see it included in the next congressional COVID-19 relief package.
“As Congress continues to work on additional COVID-19 relief efforts, it is incumbent upon us to take simple common-sense actions that will prioritize the safety and well-being of federal workers and the general public that visit federal government buildings,” Rep. García said in a statement.
According to the CATO Institute, the government owns an estimated 306,000 buildings in the country and another 55,000 buildings that are leased. If the bill passes, anyone who enters a federal building and refuses to wear they will be removed from the building and/or denied services. The bill also states that the face mask mandate would remain in place until the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases determines that this requirement is no longer needed to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
The bill is co-sponsored by García’s fellow Democrats, Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Washington, D.C Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar, and Indiana Rep. Andre Carson.
“In the Houston region and across the U.S. we’re observing spikes in COVID-19 cases,” Rep. García said. “We know face masks save lives, which is why as Members of Congress, we must take actions that prioritize the safety of federal workers & the general public.”
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday that “If all of us would put on a face-covering now for the next 4-6 weeks, we could drive this epidemic to the ground.”
As of today, the New York Times reports more than 3.3 million Americans have been infected by the coronavirus, and 135,402 have died from the disease.