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article imageWhite House kills CDC mask mandate — and the cases keep rising

By Karen Graham     Oct 10, 2020 in Politics
Last month, the White House blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from implementing a rule mandating all passengers and employees to wear face coverings on public and commercial transportation.
According to the New York Times, the order would have mandated that both passengers and employees wear face coverings on planes, trains, buses and subways and in airports, stations and depots.
The CDC's order, drafted under the agency’s “quarantine powers,” would have been the toughest mandate to date in its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The mandate also had the backing of Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar.
However, the White House coronavirus task force, headed by vice-president Mike Pence, refused to even discuss the order. An administration official - not identified - told the New York Times, according to The Hill, the task force believed the decision to mandate masks should be left to state and local governments, adding that the administration does not sign off on anything not approved by the task force.
“The approach the task force has taken with any mask mandate is, the response in New York City is different than Montana, or Tuscaloosa, Alabama,” the official told The Times. “Local and state authorities need to determine the best approach for their responsive effort depending on how the coronavirus is impacting their area.”
Most of President Donald Trump's family and guests at the Cleveland debate removed their masks
Most of President Donald Trump's family and guests at the Cleveland debate removed their masks
Jim WATSON, AFP/File
No mask mandate - Surging case numbers
Health officials around the world believe that wearing masks is one of the most effective ways to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, especially in confined spaces or poorly ventilated public spaces and on public transportation.
In the U.S., the current White House administration has opted to not only ignore the severity of the coronavirus risks, but has made the not wearing of protective face masks a "political statement." And this total disregard for good public health practices has endangered the health of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
On Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracking system, the U.S. recorded 57,420 new cases of the coronavirus - the highest number since the middle of August. And as of 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, the U.S. had already recorded over 56,100 new cases, and the day is not over.
The United States is closing in on reaching eight million people infected with COVID-19. Right now, there are 7,689,358 confirmed cases and 214,007 deaths.
And CNBC is reporting that as of Friday, new cases are rising in 33 states across the South, East and Midwest, while Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are reaching record highs for average new cases, among other states.
More about CDC, mask mandate, Public transportation, commercial transportation, White house
 
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