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Trump blasts Biden's call for nationwide mask requirement

Biden earlier on Thursday said people should be required to wear masks for several months to mitigate the negative consequences of the coronavirus crisis. 

Updated: August 13, 2020 - 6:52pm

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President Trump on Thursday sharply criticized presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden for recommending a national mandate forcing Americans to wear face masks outside during the coronavirus crisis.

Biden earlier on Thursday said people should be required to wear masks for several months to mitigate the negative consequences of the coronavirus crisis. 

"Every single American should be wearing a mask when they are outside for the next three months at a minimum," Biden said. "Every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing."

"So let's institute a mask mandate nationwide, starting immediately and we will save lives," Biden said.

Trump seized on Biden's comments during a White House press conference, saying the Democratic candidate wants to unilaterally issue a national mask-wearing requirement.

"While Joe Biden would allow rioters and looters and criminals and millions of illegal aliens to roam free in our country, he wants the federal government to issue a sweeping new mandate to law abiding citizens. He wants the president of the United States with the mere stroke of a pen to order over 300 million American citizens to wear a mask for a minimum of three straight months ... no matter where they live and no matter their surroundings," Trump said.

"He does not identify what authority the president has to issue such a mandate or how federal law enforcement could possibly enforce it or why we would be stepping on governors throughout our country, many of whom have done a very good job and they know what is needed," Trump added.

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