The White House prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from putting a rule in place to require passengers and employees on public and commercial transportation to wear masks, according to The New York Times.
The CDC attempted to push for the strict measure to curb coronavirus spread under its “quarantine powers” but got blocked by the coronavirus task force.
The rule would have required masks to be worn on planes, trains, buses and subways. However, members of the task force thought those mandates should be issued by state and local governments.
“The approach the task force has taken with any mask mandate is, the response in New York City is different than Montana, or Tuscaloosa, Alabama,” the official told The Times. “Local and state authorities need to determine the best approach for their responsive effort depending on how the coronavirus is impacting their area.”
Masks have been considered important in slowing the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than 7.6 million people in the United States, including more than 213,000 deaths.
“These face masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have, and I will continue to appeal for all Americans to embrace these face coverings, if we did it for six, eight, 10, 12 weeks we’d bring this pandemic under control,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a hearing last month.
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