Rubio Rips ‘Derangement’ Of Political Debate Over Masks As COVID-19 Cases Spike

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, arrives for a Senate Intelligence Committee nomination hearing for Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-TX, on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on May 5, 2020. - The panel is considering Ratcliffes nomination ... Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, arrives for a Senate Intelligence Committee nomination hearing for Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-TX, on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on May 5, 2020. - The panel is considering Ratcliffes nomination for Director of National Intelligence. (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 3, 2020 12:02 p.m.
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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Friday expressed his dismay over the political debate that has ensued over wearing masks in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as cases surge in several cities.

In a Friday morning tweet, Rubio argued that “politics has made us so crazy” that the practice of choosing or refusing to wear facial coverings amid rising coronavirus cases has devolved into a “derangement” roiling the country.

Rubio’s Friday tweet expands on his remarks last week as he left a GOP lunch where Vice President Mike Pence gave a coronavirus update. According to CNN, Rubio said “everyone should just wear a damn mask, like you guys are, like I am right now,” a message he claimed that he also shared with his Republican colleagues during the GOP lunch.

Rubio’s demand for the public to comply with mask wearing requirements came amid growing calls from Republicans to wear masks despite President Trump’s reluctance to do so publicly. Vice President Mike Pence; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Mitt Romney (R-UT); Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY); and former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney have all urged the public recently to adopt the practice in light of surging coronavirus cases.

During an interview on Fox Business Network on Wednesday, Trump finally said that he is “all for masks” after repeatedly punting to local officials on the matter. However, the President wouldn’t commit to making mask requirements mandatory and has yet to wear a mask in public.

Despite Pence finally encouraging the public to wear masks after spending most of last weekend deferring to local officials and governors on mask requirements, the VP told CNBC on Thursday that he doesn’t think “there’s a need for a national mandate” because the Trump administration supports local officials’ efforts.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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