U.S. senators introduce bipartisan resolution urging public to wear masks

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

United States senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) have introduced a bipartisan resolution that urges the public to wear a mask as a preventative measure to stem to spread of the coronavirus.

Senators Toomey and Bennet touted their early action that encouraged the CDC and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to update safety guidelines to encourage the use of masks.

“As our economy continues to reopen and until a vaccine is available, wearing a face mask when you venture out is the most practical and cost-effective manner in which we, as Americans, can do our part to protect one another," Toomey said.


The twice-elected Pennsylvania senator says that wearing a mask "should not be controversial," and says the preventative practice is backed by "study after study."

The resolution calls for Americans to wear masks in indoor public places and when social distancing is compromised, in accordance with the guidelines established by the CDC. Along with wearing a mask, the resolution urges the public to follow other guidelines handed down by state and federal health agencies.

"As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the country, this is a moment to do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus by wearing a mask in public,” Senator Bennet said.

Included in the resolution, the senators cite several published studies that they say prove the efficacy of wearing face masks to slow the spread of the virus.

One study highlighted in the resolution was conducted by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and claimed that mask-wearing by both infected individuals and the contacts of those individuals to be 79 percent effective in reducing COVID–19 transmission.

A May survey included in the resolution claimed 76 percent of adult supported wearing masks while in public. 

“The science is clear and consistent—when we wear a mask, we significantly limit transmission of the virus. We should take personal responsibility and remember that my mask protects you and your mask protects me.” Senator Bennet said.


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