Mitch McConnell: "We shouldn't have a stigma" about wearing masks in public

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"We shouldn't have any stigma, none, about wearing masks when we leave our homes and approach other people. Wearing simple face covers is not about protecting ourselves, it's about protecting everyone we meet," McConnell said in the Senate on Monday.

McConnell's comments come as the US has reported more than 2.6 million cases of the virus and at least 129,544 deaths, and as of Tuesday, 36 states have shown an upward trend in the average number of new daily cases in recent years. seven days, according to Johns Hopkins University data

"The more we hate the pain and suffering that accompanied the strict guidelines of staying home a few months ago, the happier we should be to take responsible small steps every day to ensure that our country can play the offensive against the virus," he said. the republican leader. he said on Monday.

McConnell made similar comments Friday in his home state of Kentucky, where he stressed that people should continue social distance and wear masks in public "until we find a vaccine," according to CNN affiliate WKYT.
There is still a sizable group of conservative House Republicans who refuse to wear masks around the Capitol, but most Republicans in Congress wear masks and encourage Americans to do the same.

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that he believes in wearing masks because "I don't want to shut down the economy."

"Wearing the mask is the best opportunity to keep this economy open, keep us working, stay safe, and help us as we move toward that vaccine in which we are in a much stronger position than any other country," said the California Republican. he said on "Fox & Friends".

Pressed on whether he believes Trump should wear a mask to give an example to the Americans, McCarthy noted that he himself does not wear a mask when speaking on the floor of the House, adding that the President has worn a mask "as he goes along. ahead."

Masks have become a political hot spot as some Americans argue that the requirement infringes on their civil liberties.

Vice President Mike Pence, who has been inconsistent with wearing a mask in public, offered his strongest endorsement yet to wear a mask to protect himself from the coronavirus on Sunday.

"If your local officials, in consultation with the state, are directing you to wear a mask, we encourage everyone to wear a mask in the affected areas. And where you cannot maintain social distancing, wearing a mask is just a good idea and We know from experience that the spread of the coronavirus will decrease, "said Pence, who heads the White House coronavirus workforce, on a trip to Dallas.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges everyone to wear a "cloth face cover when they have to go out in public," noting that the masks are critical "in case the user is unknowingly infected. but have no symptoms. "

Despite advice from public health experts, Trump continues to defy his own government's health recommendations and has been reluctant to be seen wearing a mask in public.

The White House maintains that everyone who comes into contact with the president is regularly tested for coronavirus.

During a trip to a Ford plant in May, Trump claimed he wore a mask away from reporters and cameras, but took it off because "he did not want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it."
Also last month, he appeared to be teasing his 2020 rival Joe Biden, the alleged Democratic nominee, for wearing an outdoor mask at a Memorial Day event, and, on a separate occasion, a White House reporter for wear one during a press conference.
Trump suggested in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the masks are used as a political statement, rather than a health precaution, to show his disapproval.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Monday that "it is anyone's personal choice whether to wear a mask or not."

"He encourages people to make the decision that is best for their safety, but he told me that he has no problem with the masks and that he does what the local jurisdiction requires," McEnany said.

But even conservative media is pushing a different message than the president's, touting the effectiveness of the masks and suggesting that Trump should be seen wearing one.

During an interview with McCarthy Tuesday, "Fox & Friends" presenter Steve Doocy opined on the president's failure to wear a mask: "I just don't see any problem with the president seeing him more often. It's symbolic. Obviously It is patriotic because you are not only protecting yourself, you are protecting other people … It would be a powerful symbol. "

Fox News' Sean Hannity, on his show Monday night, argued that face covers work while criticizing Democrats for making a "political weapon" with the use of masks.

"Anecdotally, I was at the epicenter of this. I went to my store every week. Guess what? They were wearing masks. Nobody in my store, thank God, contracted coronaviruses. I think they work," said the conservative host. "If I wear a mask and it opens NFL baseball, concerts, football, I'd rather wear the mask and go to the game to protect grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, and watch the ball game."

CNN's Ali Zaslav, Ian Sloan, Allison Main, Jason Hoffman and Sarah Westwood contributed to this report.

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