Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is weighing in on whether he would have legal authority if he were elected president of the United States to issue a nationwide mask mandate.
During a press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, Biden indicated his legal team believes he would have the power to require mask-wearing across the nation.
“There’s a question — I think it can be answered in the positive — a question whether I can mandate over state lines that every single state has to comply. Our legal team thinks I can do that based upon the degree to which there is a crisis in those states and how bad things are for the country,” Biden said.
He added, “I’d make the case why it’s necessary. I’d have the scientists array — to lay out and detail why, and I would go to every governor… and I’d say, ‘We have to have this national mandate.’ We must do it. And at a minimum, what I would do, I wouldn’t walk around saying, ‘Masks don’t matter.’”
Check out his comments below:
Biden says his legal team believes he’d have the authority as president to issue a mask mandate “based upon the degree to which there’s a crisis in those states, and how bad things are for the country” https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/HbDKjUjggO
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 16, 2020
Biden reminded Trump “he’s the president” after he criticized him for not instituting a mask mandate.
The reporter pressed Biden on what he would do if a Republican governor pushed back on his mandate and if he would sign an executive order if it were necessary.
Biden reiterated it depends on whether he has the legal authority to do so, and, according to his legal team, they believe he would.
He said if he did have the legal authority he would issue an executive order.
Trump told host George Stephanopoulos during a presidential town hall on Tuesday night, Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), “said at the Democrat Convention… they’re going to do a national mandate, they never did it.”
He added, “Because they’re checked out, they never did it.”