Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on Tuesday doubled down on his call for everyone, including President Trump, to wear a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19, during a Senate coronavirus hearing.
On Sunday, Alexander told CNN that it would “help” if the President wore a mask to stop the political debate surrounding the matter as coronavirus cases surge in several cities.
Alexander reiterated his mask-wearing demand again during a Senate coronavirus hearing two days later.
Before issuing an opening statement, Alexander noted that his mask was off while speaking due to being six feet away from everyone else, complying with the Office of Attending Physician’s advisory.
Alexander pointed out that like many other senators, he wears a mask when walking the hallways or on the Senate floor.
The chair of Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions then doubled down on his dismay over the “political debate” that has ensued over mask-wearing.
“Unfortunately, this simple life-saving practice has become part of the political debate that says this: if you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask. If you’re against Trump, you do,” Alexander said.
Alexander added that he “suggested that the President occasionally wear a mask” despite how it’s not necessary for him to do so “in most cases.”
“The President has plenty of admirers, they would follow his lead, it would help end this political debate,” Alexander said. “The stakes are too high for this political debate about pro-Trump, anti-Trump masks to continue. Around here, senators and staff wear masks because we don’t want to make each other sick.”
Alexander then shared an anecdote about how he was exposed to COVID-19 by a pre-symptomatic staff member and self-quarantined for two weeks after. The Tennessee Republican said that the Senate physician told him that the staff member was wearing a mask and greatly reduced his chances of exposure to the coronavirus.
Alexander then off-handedly pointed out how he thinks masks are “also a pretty good way to make a statement.”
“I like to wear my plaid mask, Dr. Fauci uses his mask to demonstrate his loyalty to the Washington Nationals, Sen. Kaine is either a cowboy or a bandit — I’m never sure which,” Alexander said.
Watch Alexander’s remarks below: