In a speech Monday, Biden implored Americans to stop politicizing masks and social distancing.
“Please, I implore you, wear a mask,” the President-elect said. “Do it for yourself, do it for your neighbor. A mask is not a political statement but it is a way to start pulling the country together.”
During the campaign, Biden spoke of his plan to issue a nationwide mask mandate. Doing so could be challenged in court, though, and in October Biden said he would go to every governor and urge them to issue mask mandates.
“And if they refuse, I’ll go to the mayors and county executives and get local masking requirements in place nationwide,” he said.
Because the virus is mainly airborne, face masks are the most effective way to stop person-to-person spread of Covid-19, studies have shown.
“Wearing of face masks in public corresponds to the most effective means to prevent interhuman transmission, and this inexpensive practice, in conjunction with simultaneous social distancing, quarantine, and contact tracing, represents the most likely fighting opportunity to stop the Covid-19 pandemic, prior to the development of a vaccine,” researchers in Texas and California wrote back in June.