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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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American and Southwest stand by vaccine mandate, despite Abbott’s ban

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American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are still planning to comply with President Biden’s executive order regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The order requires all their employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 8t. As a result, they will be ignoring Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates.

Abbott announced his own executive order, effectively banning mandates even from private employers, on Tuesday. “In another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.”

Yet both airlines are requiring their employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 24. This comes despite Southwest’s impromptu cancellation of over 2,000 flights over the weekend. At the time, the airline blamed the cancellations on air traffic control and weather conditions. However, SaraACarter.com was unable to verify that any other airline had to cancel near as many flights for the same reasons. This has left many to speculate that Southwest actually cancelled flights due to their employees walking out as a direct result of the mandate.

Reporter Jack Posobiec tweeted out a flyer circulating among the anti-vaxx Southwest employees. Currently, they are planning a protest outside of Southwest headquarters next Monday. The protest will be called “Freedom Not Force.”

Southwest told Reuters it “would be expected to comply with the President’s Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.” In addition, American similarly said Abbott’s order does not change anything.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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