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Joe Biden pledges ‘to require masks where I have authority’

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President-Elect Joe Biden pledged Friday to require mask-wearing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m asking you to mask up for the next 100 days,” Biden said. “This is not a political issue. And I will issue an executive order to require masks where I have the authority to do that.”

Further, Biden said that order will extend to federal workers and federal property. It will also extend to “interstate travel,” he added.

“We’ll also be working with mayors and governors in red states and blue states and ask them to require masking up in their cities and their states,” said the President-Elect.

Biden then slammed those who oppose such orders, focusing on republican lawmakers who were heavily criticized for refusing to wear masks while the Capitol building was on lockdown amid the Jan. 6 riot. Following that day, Congress confirmed four COVID-19 cases among lawmakers.

“Look, I hope we now know this is not a political issue, this is about saving lives,” he said. “I know it’s become a partisan issue, but what a stupid, stupid thing for it to happen. This is a patriotic act. We’re asking you, we’re in a war with this virus and experts say and have shown that wearing a mask now until April will save as many as 50,000 lives.”

“Quite frankly, it was shocking to see members of the Congress while the Capitol was under siege while the deadly mob of thugs refused to wear a mask while they were in secure locations. I’m so proud of my Congresswoman… Lisa Blunt Rochester, trying to hand out masks while people are lying on the floor, huddled up and Republican colleagues refusing to put them on. What the hell’s the matter with them? It’s time to grow up.”

Follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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Study finds harmful levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in popular bandage brands

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A new consumer study tested several brands of bandages and found higher levels of fluorine in bandages from Band-Aid, CVS Health, Walmart, Rite Aid, Target and Curad, which contain harmful levels of “forever chemicals,” also known as PFAS.

The study by Mamavation and Environmental Health News revealed that out of 40 bandages from 18 different brands, 26 contained organic fluorine, an indicator of PFAS.

“Because bandages are placed upon open wounds, it’s troubling to learn that they may be also exposing children and adults to PFAS,” said Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, the study’s co-author and the former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program.

News Nation reports that the study found the chemicals present in the adhesive part of the bandages. Mamavation said some brands likely used the PFAS in bandages “for their waterproof qualities.”

“It’s obvious from the data that PFAS are not needed for wound care, so it’s important that the industry remove their presence to protect the public from PFAS and opt instead for PFAS-free materials,” Birnbaum said.

According to the study, the chemicals are linked to several health effects, including “reduced immune system, vaccine response, developmental and learning problems for infants and children, certain cancers, lowered fertility, and endocrine disruption.”

While the exposure risk to PFAS through the skin isn’t clear, skin exposure “poses similar health risks” as eating or drinking food contaminated with PFAS, according to a previous study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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