Pritzker Calls For National Face-Covering Requirements

ILLINOIS — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged federal lawmakers on Wednesday to adopt a nationwide face-covering requirement as the number of cases of COVID-19 increases in some states.

During a virtual hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Wednesday, Pritzker criticized the federal government for not implementing the Defense Production act early on in the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said states were bidding against each other to buy personal protective equipment.

“States were forced to play some sick hunger games game show to save the lives of people,” Pritzker said. “This is not a reality TV show. These are real things that are happening.”

U.S. President Donald Trump hosted 14 seasons of “The Apprentice,” a reality TV show, before he was elected in 2016.

Pritzker also laid out a number things he said the federal government can do moving forward, including more testing and tracking, continued funding for the National Guard to assist in COVID-19 response, a federal bailout for state and local governments, and a national face-covering mandate.

“This might be the most important thing that we can do to save lives,” Pritzker said. “We need a national masking mandate. We instituted ours in Illinois on May 1, one of the first in the nation, and it aligns with our most significant downward shifts in our infection rate.”

In Ohio seven counties must wear face coverings while in public under a new order from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

The seven counties have been designated as a Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency, which is below the highest level, Purple Alert Level 4. The levels are part of Ohio’s new Public Health Advisory System.

 Under the order, everyone in the counties must wear masks when they are in an indoor location that is not a house, when they are outside and cannot maintain a distance of six feet from others or on public transportation.

Atlanta is also poised to become the third city in Georgia to mandate wearing a face mask in public, in defiance of an order by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told MSNBC Wednesday morning that she would enact a mask mandate. Savannah became the first Georgia city last week to mandate masks, and Athens followed suit Tuesday.

The Center Square – Greg Bishop, Todd DeFeo, Jason Schaumburg

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