U. S. Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced legislation Wednesday aimed to bring mask mandates to the entire U.S., saying that “overwhelming scientific evidence” has shown that masks reduce the spread of Covid-19, which is now taking a grim toll on the country at levels never before seen.
The bill would set aside $5 billion in federal funding that would then be given to states and local governments in the form of grants.
Money would be withheld from states that do not have a mask mandate in place.
Funding would be contingent upon mandates that require face coverings in public, “including in each place of business,” with some common exceptions, like outdoor spaces where social distancing is of ease, children under the age of two and the eating of food.
The bill is called the ‘‘Encouraging Masks for All Act of 2020.’’
The bill seems highly unlikely to pass the Senate, which has a Republican majority. And even if it were to pass, and also be approved by the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump would likely veto the bill. If Democrats win both of the Georgia U. S. Senate seats in January to take control of the chamber, it would be much more likely that a piece of legislation like the ‘‘Encouraging Masks for All Act of 2020” would be able to pass.
“The Government has an interest in encouraging the use of face coverings in public and each place of business,” the bill read.
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Submitted 61 days ago