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McConnell vows to keep economy opened, urges Americans to wear a mask

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday vowed not to shut down the economy again, warning that the United States does not have enough money to “continue to prop up” the economy, and urged Americans to wear a mask to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We’re not going to shut the economy down again,” McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday. “We don’t have enough money we can borrow to continue to prop up the economy indefinitely.”

McConnell went on to discuss the importance of wearing a mask while noting that “at some point along the way, people have been somewhat confused” about the use of masks or face coverings when social distancing is not possible.

“It ain’t confusing,” McConnell quipped. “The single most important thing that each of us can do, not just to protect ourselves, but our friends and colleagues – the single most important thing we can do is wear a mask.”

McConnell went on to scold those who he signaled were letting their guard down, as states across the country have experienced a surge in positive coronavirus cases in recent days.

“Clearly a lot of people thought when we started opening up the economy again, ‘Let the good times roll,’” McConnell said. “And we’ve seen the spiking of cases.”

McConnell’s comments about the importance of masks comes after the White House this week said there would not be a national mandate to wear masks.

President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday was asked whether there should be a federal mandate on wearing masks, or whether the decision should be left up to the states, as some governors are tightening orders requiring masks in spaces where social distancing is not possible and others are issuing new orders for their states.

“Well, it’s certainly a state-to-state issue, as we look across the country, obviously the narrative is the COVID cases are rising, but testing is rising exponentially. We’ve now tested almost 10 percent of our country,” Meadows said.

“And yet when we look at masks and the wearing of masks, that’s done on a location basis, when you can’t have social distancing, but certainly a national mandate is not in order,” he continued. “We’re allowing governors and mayors to weigh in on that.”

Meadows went on to say that as states and businesses begin to open, masks should be used if appropriate.

“President Trump mentioned he is willing to wear a mask if appropriate in tight quarters,” Meadows said.

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