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.

Cases: 154878

Reported Deaths: 2206
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31824528
Washington21099212
Marion18373285
Clackamas13328175
Lane10200126
Jackson8315111
Umatilla763982
Deschutes593459
Yamhill376764
Linn357756
Malheur334458
Polk303942
Klamath278455
Douglas244754
Josephine232849
Benton232516
Jefferson195128
Coos144019
Union128119
Columbia124821
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106429
Morrow104614
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6507
Curry4246
Tillamook4142
Lake3746
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3559311

Reported Deaths: 51794
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118923221241
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2860772783
Orange2607213982
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1102371777
Kern102627811
Fresno950151422
Sacramento929611464
Alameda802791241
Ventura77395834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55887946
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38872515
San Francisco34138398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano30024164
Merced28915395
Sonoma28004298
Imperial26855589
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15414209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12787185
Shasta10969174
Butte10922160
El Dorado9095100
Napa899869
Sutter884597
San Benito575259
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada394074
Mendocino379643
Amador344841
Humboldt318033
Lake314140
Glenn221923
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Brookings
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 40°
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 41°
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 41°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: °
Drying out, winds diminish this weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events