Joe Biden is calling for a nationwide protective mask mandate, citing health experts' predictions that it could save 40,000 lives from the coronavirus over the next three months. "Wearing the mask is less about you contracting the virus," Biden said, "it's about preventing other people from getting sick." The Democratic presidential candidate also responded to those who push back against such mandates, the AP reports. "This is America. Be a patriot. Protect your fellow citizens," he said. "Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months at a minimum—every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing." Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris spoke Thursday in Delaware after they were briefed by public health and economic experts on the pandemic.
President Trump on Wednesday said his administration was sending 125 million reusable masks to school districts across the nation. He urged Americans to wear masks but has opposed imposing a national requirement and declined to wear one for months; he has worn one on occasion more recently. On Thursday, the president again dismissed criticism that he was too slow to react to the pandemic in the US, saying "nobody blames me" on Fox Business Network. "Look, we got hit by the China plague, and we're not going to forget it," he said. On Wednesday, when the US reported 1,499 new coronavirus deaths, the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in a single day since May, Trump pushed for schools and businesses to continue opening, and he called for college football to go on despite several leading conferences' leaders deciding to cancel this year’s season.
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