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The US has seen the highest amount of coronavirus vases worldwide, with 2,588,020 cases as of June 30. It also has the highest death toll from the virus worldwide, at 126,131 according to John Hopkins University.
Republican leaders in Senate and Congress have broke away from President Trump’s stance on face masks, suggesting the American public wear them.
US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there should be no stigma attached to wearing face coverings in public amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
McConnell said on the floor of the Senate: “We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people.
“Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter.”
McConnell was one of many key Republican figures advocating for the widespread acceptance of face masks in public, as states continue to see record high cases of the virus
The top Republican in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, said Americans should follow the recommendations of health officials to wear masks and socially distance themselves to help slow the spread of infection.
On June 12, the Centres for Disease Control and Infection urged organisers of large gatherings to wear face mask as the George Floyd protests spread nationwide.
McCarthy told CNBC on Monday: “They should wear a mask.”
He made the remarks after his home state of California began to halt efforts to reopen the economy amid rising coronavirus cases.
Most shockingly, Vice President Mike Pence encouraged Americans to wear masks when visiting Texas on Saturday.
Pence said: “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 can’t maintain social distancing, wearing a mask is just a good idea.
“And it will, we know, from experience, will slow the spread of the coronavirus.”
It comes after the Vice President previously dismissed face masks earlier in the pandemic, and on April 28, he refused to wear one while visiting Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic.
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Trump has refused to wear a face mask, and has downplayed the necessity of their usage, for a variety of reasons.
In April, Trump said he could not picture himself in a mask while greeting “presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens.”
He also said he did not want to give journalists the pleasure of seeing him wear one.
Trump has also stated in press briefings that their usages was a personal choice, but White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany added: “But he did say to me he has no problem with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests of you.”
The party split on face masks comes as states continue to see record high daily cases of coronavirus.
Republican led states, like Texas and Florida, have recently stepped back from their efforts to reopen the economy.
Throughout the country, resistance to public health measures has taken on a partisan tone.
A Reuters/Ipsos survey in May found one-third of Republicans were “very concerned” about the virus, compared to nearly half of Democrats.
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