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Warren asks CDC to mandate masks, citing Georgia's local ban

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is requesting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use its existing powers to implement and expand mask requirements, and ask...

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 2:11 PM
Updated: Jul 21, 2020 6:39 PM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is requesting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use its existing powers to implement and expand mask requirements, and asked whether the agency could intervene in situations like Georgia's ban on local mask laws.

The Massachusetts Democrat appealed to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield in a new letter sent Monday, suggesting that the public agency already has the authority to institute mask mandates and local gathering limits -- beyond the current patchwork response from state governors and local leaders.

That power, Warren writes in the letter obtained by CNN, could come from a code of federal regulations for public health already in place that allows the CDC to limit interstate travel to control communicable diseases.

Warren also asked whether the CDC would step in "in instances where state governors or other officials order the removal of restrictions or mask mandates."

She cited Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who recently banned any local mask requirements.

"I would like to know whether the CDC will use its authorities to intervene allowing orders of this kind, like Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's announcement last week, would seem to be in direct contradiction to the Department's mandate," Warren wrote.

The CDC has advised that "cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms." The agency also said everyone "should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities."

And the benefits go both ways. "Your cloth face covering may protect them. Their cloth face covering may protect you," the CDC said.

Warren requested "more information on whether and how the CDC plans to use its authorities" under federal code that could allow the public agency "to institute mask mandates, implement restrictions on gatherings, reverse reopenings, and enforce other public health measures."

Warren and other Senate Democrats have used letters and hearings to keep pressure on the CDC during the coronavirus pandemic. Warren's eldest brother died of coronavirus in April.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32820

Reported Deaths: 543
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7184138
Marion468394
Washington451960
Umatilla297641
Clackamas240861
Malheur162723
Lane121017
Jackson11485
Deschutes84012
Yamhill75713
Jefferson5348
Polk53015
Linn52213
Morrow4996
Lincoln48213
Union4462
Benton3106
Wasco2923
Klamath2802
Hood River2510
Douglas2324
Clatsop2120
Josephine1982
Columbia1711
Coos1570
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook530
Lake330
Curry310
Wallowa311
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 809890

Reported Deaths: 15606
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2678016514
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino54478925
Orange533151216
San Diego46610776
Kern31947369
Fresno28336382
Sacramento22269406
Alameda21189406
Santa Clara21153312
San Joaquin20194441
Contra Costa16572205
Stanislaus16452354
Tulare15970263
Ventura12729150
Imperial11835317
San Francisco11143101
Monterey988471
San Mateo9843150
Santa Barbara9061113
Merced8872142
Kings756980
Sonoma7412122
Marin6716118
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer357745
San Luis Obispo354629
Butte282744
Yolo280355
Santa Cruz23589
Sutter170511
Napa168113
San Benito134511
Yuba11537
El Dorado11274
Mendocino93118
Shasta85617
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5605
Lake54911
Nevada5347
Colusa5296
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
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