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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wears a mask. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday denounced the “stigma” perpetrated by some about wearing masks as US coronavirus cases surge.

The Republican leader weighed in as partisan divisions persist in Washington over whether or not to wear masks — and as new US infections hit a record high on Friday, driven by spikes in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida.

“We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people,” McConnell (R-Ky.) tweeted on Monday.

“Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter.”

On Friday, the third-ranking House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, tweeted a photo of her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, wearing a mask with the hashtag #realmenwearmasks .

On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said a nationwide mandate was “long overdue.”

In Nashville, authorities mandated that masks be worn whenever people are in public. And in Jacksonville, Fla., officials are considering a mask mandate ahead of the Republican National Convention in August. The RNC was relocated from Charlotte, N.C., where Democratic officials resisted hosting an ordinary convention.

Most Republican senators have worn masks amid the pandemic that’s sickened 2.5 million Americans and killed more than 125,000. But a large number of House Republicans still do not wear masks, frequently angering Democrats.Masks are also rare among White House aides, though staff close to President Trump are routinely tested for the virus.Trump does not wear a mask and recently told the Wall Street Journal that mask-wearing “could be,” in part, a form of protest against him.“I see [presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe] Biden. It’s like his whole face is covered. It’s like he put a knapsack over his face. He probably likes it that way,” Trump said […]


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