Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris hit the campaign trail for a second time on Thursday and called on all U.S. governors to mandate mask-wearing, following a virtual virtual meeting with public health experts.
"Every single American should be wearing a mask when they're outside for the next three months at a minimum. Every governor should mandate, every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing. The estimates by the experts are we'll save over forty thousand lives. [FLASH] This is America. Be a patriot. Protect your fellow citizens."
President Donald Trump, the man Biden is trying to unseat in November, long refused to wear one in public until recently. That turned face-coverings into a political symbol, prompting other Republican elected officials and some Trump supporters to angrily refuse wearing them.
Later on Thursday, Trump responded to Biden's call for a nationwide mandate on masks.
"If the president has the unilateral power to order every single citizen to cover their face in nearly all instances, what other powers does he have? [FLASH] My administration has a different approach. We have urged Americans to wear masks, and I emphasized this is a patriotic thing to do. Maybe they're great and maybe they're just good. Maybe they're not so good. But, frankly, what do you have to lose? You have nothing to lose."
A Trump ally conceded privately that the Democratic pair had a "good day" on the campaign trail. Biden's campaign said they collected more than $34 million on Tuesday and Wednesday after announcing Harris as the running mate, a record pace of fundraising.
After the joint speech on Thursday, neither Biden nor Harris took questions from reporters.