Even when he becomes president in January, Joe Biden won't have the authority to order Americans to wear masks. But he will make it a request on Day One, the Hill reports. "Just 100 days to mask, not forever," Biden said Thursday. "100 days." Biden made the comments in a CNN interview. He said he will issue a mask mandate for places where the president has authority to do so, such as in federal buildings and in interstate transportation, including airplanes and buses. The president-elect has been an advocate of wearing a face mask to slow the spread of the coronavirus throughout the pandemic, and he's been mocked by President Trump for it.
Biden said he thinks that if more people wear masks as the first round of vaccinations takes place, the combination will "drive down the numbers considerably," per the BBC. And he and Vice President Kamala Harris will set an example by masking up, he said. Biden has asked Americans to get past the politics of masks and other pandemic restrictions. "It's time to end the politicization of basic, responsible public health steps like mask wearing and social distancing," he said last month. "A mask is not a political statement, but it is a good way to start pulling the country together." (Read more face masks stories.)