Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Wednesday urged his Republican colleagues to comply with mask-wearing requirements as spikes in COVID-19 cases emerge in several states.
“Everyone should just wear a damn mask, like you guys are, like I am right now,” Rubio said as he left a GOP lunch where Vice President Mike Pence gave a coronavirus update, according to CNN.
CNN reported that Rubio said that he also hopes “everybody does the best they can to protect themselves.”
Rubio added that he shared the same message with his Republican colleagues during the GOP lunch.
“It’s a respiratory virus that spreads from person to person and the more people you come in contact with in an unprotected setting the likelier you are to be infected by it,” Rubio said, according to CNN.
Rubio’s remarks come the same day that the Florida Health Department reported the state’s highest number of new and confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic. Additionally, the governors of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey announced earlier Wednesday that they will require visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Although House Republicans are defying Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) directive that committee leaders enforce a new mask requirement, several Republicans are coming around to demanding the public to wear masks in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) echoed Rubio’s mask plea in a Wednesday afternoon tweet.
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) June 24, 2020
On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said during a press conference that the coronavirus is “spreading at an unacceptable rate” in the state and that “it must be corralled.” After acknowledging that some Texans think that wearing a mask infringes on their freedom, Abbott added that “closing down Texas again will always be the last option” and that “wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) also urged attendees at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Jacksonville to wear masks despite President Trump wanting to make his coronation speech to a full arena without coronavirus-related restrictions.