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During an interview with CBS affiliate KDKA on Thursday, Former Vice President Joe Biden said he would make wearing masks in public mandatory for all Americans if he is elected president.
Biden said he would enforce the rule using federal power when speaking with interviewer Ken Rice.
Rice: 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 into a business that had masks.
Rice: Couldn’t you use the federal leverage to mandate that, though?
Rice: Would you?
Biden: Yes, I would from an executive standpoint, yes, I would.
Rice: 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.
Biden added that if he won the election, he would remove his mask to take the oath of office.
During the interview, Biden struggled with his mask as he has done during previous events.