Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appeared to flip-flop again when he claimed that his legal team believes he would have the authority to impose a federal/national mask mandate through an executive order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, should he be elected.
During a campaign event on Wednesday, Biden vowed that if elected, he “would call all the governors to the White House” to make the case for implementing a mask mandate.
Biden emphasized that if he had the legal authority to sign an executive order on masks, “I would.”
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
Joe Biden had brought up a national mask mandate during an interview in Pittsburgh in June, and then he had called for a national mask mandate during a campaign event with his running mate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) in August, just days before the start of the Democratic National Convention.
“Every American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months at a minimum. Let’s institute a mask mandate nationwide starting immediately and we will save lives. The estimates are we will save over 40,000 lives in the next three months if that is done,” Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware, without explaining specific details or taking questions from the press that day.
However, earlier this month, Biden walked back his comments and told AZFamily’s “Politics Unplugged”: “Here’s the deal, the federal government– there’s a constitutional issue whether federal government could issue such a mandate. I don’t think constitutionally they could, so I wouldn’t issue a mandate”. Video Below
CNN on Wednesday, appeared somewhat confused over Biden’s backtracking on whether to mandate the wearing of a mask, but confirmed the Biden campaign’s double flip-flop.
“… Then they backed off it– said it was a mask guideline or something like that, but now, I guess they’re back to a mask mandate,” Jake Tapper said, seemingly puzzled.
In August, the Commander in Chief held a Coronavirus Task Force briefing, slamming the Democratic presidential nominee for “politicizing a pandemic” and showing “his appalling lack of respect for the American people”.
“But while Joe Biden would allow rioters, 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 a mere stroke of a pen, to order over 300 million American citizens to wear a mask for a minimum of 3 straight months. … I guess he thinks it’s good politics. No matter where they live and no matter their surroundings,” the president said. Continued Below
The Commander in Chief declared: “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. … Our governors have worked very hard. They’ve worked with Vice President Pence and myself and everybody else that’s been going.” [Emphasis added].
“If the president has the unilateral power to order every single citizen to cover their face in nearly all instances, what other powers does he have?” President Donald Trump asked. “That’s why he refused, Biden, to take questions. He couldn’t answer any of them– couldn’t answer the questions. He refused to take questions. He never takes questions.”
“I have emphasized this is a patriotic thing to do,” the president said, referring to comments he made in July. “What do you have to lose? We’ve been saying wear them when it’s appropriate, especially in terms of social distancing if you can’t distance enough. And what do you have to lose? But again, it’s up to the governors. We want to have a certain freedom. … That’s what we’re about.”