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White House again rejects national strategy on masks

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the president sees the issue as a “state-to-state” matter.

WASHINGTON — The White House is again rejecting calls for a national mask-wearing mandate.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says in an appearance on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning that the president sees the issue as a “state-to-state” matter.

He says that, “certainly a national mandate is not in order” and that “we’re allowing our local governors and our local mayors to weigh in on that.”

New Jersey’s Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has said he’d like to see a national strategy on the coronavirus, including a mask requirement. He says his state is seeing “small spikes in reinfection” from residents coming back from Florida, South Carolina and other virus hotspots, and the U.S. is “as strong as our weakest link right now.”

Vice President Mike Pence has also rejected the idea of a national mandate, saying that’s up to governors and local health officials.

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For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The United States has more than 2.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.

Just after 9:30 a.m. EDT Monday, the U.S. had more than 129,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 11 million confirmed cases with more than 534,000 deaths.

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