Joe Biden says he would make masks required in public if president

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PITTSBURGH, Penn. (KDKA) — When asked if he would use his federal leverage to put a mask mandate in place for people in public across the US, former Vice President Joe Biden said he “would do everything” to make it a requirement.

“The one thing we do know, these masks make a gigantic difference,” Biden said. “I would insist that everybody on public be wearing that mask.”

Biden went on to say he would not wear a mask while taking his oath of office if elected president.

Masks are now mandatory across North Carolina, and Saturday marks the first full day of Governor Roy Cooper’s face mask mandate. 

“I try to wear a mask as much as I can,” said Akeem McDonald, of High Point.

It’s becoming a common sight to see people out with a face covering.

“I keep myself safe, and I also want to keep others safe,” said Brenda Dorsett, who also lives in High Point.

Cooper issued the requirement to stabilize the state’s rising number of coronavirus cases. 

“I think it’s an easy thing everyone can do and do their part in helping prevent the spread,” said Noman Iqbal, of Burlington. 

“I think that if you’re not wearing a mask, you’re endangering all lives,” Dorsett said.

“I see a lot of places still where people are going out and not wearing a mask,” McDonald said.

Many Triad businesses posted signs at the door asking customers to not enter without a face covering.

“Everyone else is doing it, so I think that’s really why people are starting to pay attention,” said Elaina Kauzlarich, of Burlington. 

State health officials say using a mask helps protect others by reducing the chance of the virus spreading from someone who may be asymptomatic.

While some have worn masks since the start of the pandemic, they’re not for everyone–like Donald Hutchinson, a High Point resident with a chronic lung disease. 

“I have COPD. I’ve got breathing problems. I can’t breathe with one on especially in the heat. I’m not supposed to be out in this heat,” Hutchinson said.

For those healthy enough to wear one, the hardest part McDonald tells FOX8 is remembering to take it along when leaving the house.

“It’s going to take time for people to get used to this. It’s going to take time,” McDonald said.

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