SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Health experts have long implored people to mask up as the most effective way to stop person to person spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.
Now, president-elect Joe Biden escalating the issue by de-escalating the situation, pleading with Americans to not look at masks as a political statement but rather a way to try and stay safe.
“We know it can save lives. The numbers show us that it can cut deaths and illness from COVID,” Dr. John Swartzberg said.
Dr. John Swatzberg with UC Berkeley’s Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology Division says the studies are crystal clear, wearing a mask can save lives – adding now it is more important than ever to wear one.
“This virus loves winter, I am fearful we are in for a long deadly one if we don’t take steps,” Swartzberg said.
“He can’t mandate it, the US Constitution blocks that, but he can do a carrot and stick approach,” Donna Crane said.
Donna Crane, with the political science department at San Jose State University, says while the constitution prevents president-elect Biden from issuing a mask mandate, he can model a policy.
“He can make it more normal for all, and he can withhold funds if he wants to get people on board,” Crane said.
Currently, there are 12 states that do not have a statewide initiative requiring masks to be worn by the general public.
Whereas positive news about a vaccine spread quickly Monday, Dr. Swartzberg had this to add a vaccine is still a ways away.
“It just is a matter of doing the right thing for everyone’s sake,” Swartzberg said.
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