Biden implores Americans to wear a mask to stem virus

Even as President Donald Trump resisted accepting the outcome of the 2020 election, President-Elect Joe Biden on Monday urged Americans to join together and wear masks more often in an effort to slow the recent surge of the Coronavirus, as cases, hospitalizations and deaths have dramatically jumped nationwide in recent weeks.

“It doesn’t matter who you voted for,” Biden said after a transition meeting in Wilmington, Delaware. “A mask is not a political statement.”

The call was a marked public change from the attitude of President Trump toward masks, who repeatedly mocked Biden during the 2020 campaign for wearing a mask, and for avoiding large public gatherings.

“I implore you, wear a mask,” Biden said. “Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbor.”

“So, let’s wear a mask, let’s get to work,” Biden said.

Standing in front of a banner which read, “Office of the President Elect,” Biden again repeatedly offered an olive branch to those who opposed his run for President, saying Americans must work together.

“It doesn’t matter who you voted for. It doesn’t matter where you stood before Election Day,” Biden said.

“We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months,” Biden added.

The remarks came as Biden named a group of experts to an advisory panel to help forge a new path forward on the virus, which has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in recent weeks.

Cases are now averaging well over 100,000 new cases per day. Hospitalizations are surging, with states repeatedly setting records for patients every day.

And deaths now have jumped 35 percent in just the past few weeks.

The White House was holding its first meeting of a special Coronavirus Task Force in almost three weeks, as the messaging about the virus nationally has fallen to Biden, in the vacuum of action from the Trump Administration.

Jamie Dupree

Jamie Dupree, CMG Washington News Bureau

Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau