[guest post by Dana]
He was against it before he was for it. One week ago, Biden said this about a mask mandate:
Asked to respond to the governors who had appreciated President Trump’s more targeted coronavirus approach, which gave more authority to the states, Biden said, “Well, I hope you could trust the governors.
“But 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.”
Given the legal challenges, Biden said, he would “plead with” people to wear a mask, adding, “I’d set an example.”
Biden then noted that case rates were dropping in places where local authorities had implemented mask orders.
“It’s about making sure the public is safe and secure, and that is a local decision but there should be national standards laid out as to how it should be gone about. You can’t mandate that,” he continued
Former Vice President Joe Biden is not ruling out the possibility of instituting a federal mask mandate if elected in November to deliver on previous calls for nationwide mask use as the country continues to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19.
“Our legal team thinks I can do that based upon the degree to which there’s a crisis in those states, and how bad things are for the country, and if we don’t do it, what happens,” Biden said of his ability to act federally if states decline to take action.
“The question is whether I have the legal authority as president to sign an executive order. We think we do,” Biden later added, stressing that he would make the case along with scientists to both Republican and Democratic governors about the necessity of a mandate before acting federally.