McConnell: 'We must have no stigma — none — about wearing masks'

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Americans to “take small steps” to help combat the spread of coronavirus, and endorsed wearing face masks as a common-sense solution.

“We must have no stigma — none — about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people. Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves. It’s about protecting everyone we encounter,” Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said Monday.

“The more we hate the pain and suffering that accompanied the strict stay-home guidelines a few months ago, the happier we should be to take responsible small steps every day to ensure our country can stay on offense against the virus,” he added.

The emphasis on mask-wearing from health officials comes as several states have seen an uptick in covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in the past week as the economy began to lift lockdown orders.

While Democratic leaders have slammed Republicans for slow-rolling any new coronavirus legislation, Mr. McConnell touted that his committee chairs have held several hearings in the past few months in a “facts first” approach.

Earlier Monday morning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, called on the GOP leader to bring forward their $3 trillion Heroes act for a vote.

The massive economic stimulus package, which passed in mid-May, would provide for a surge in state and local funding, an additional round of direct payments to the public, with additional funds for vote-by-mail initivies and the struggling Post Office.

Mr. McConnell dismissed the package as an “absurd multitrillion dollar wicker list.” Republicans want any new legislation to have a heavy emphasis on liability protections of healthcare and business owners.

Mr. Schumer, however, countered and warned that Mr. McConnell is going to run into staunch Democratic opposition if he tries to craft new coronavirus legislation “in his office.”

“Has he learned any lessons on Covid 2, Covid 3, Covid 3.5, the Justice in Policing Act? When you try to do something major on a partisan basis, nothing happens and America needs something to happen,” Mr. Schumer said.

“Leader McConnell knows he has to negotiate if he wants to pass legislation,” he added.

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