As COVID-19 infections continue to surge across America and nearly 30 states impose public mask-wearing requirements, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and over three dozen of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate and House have introduced lifesaving legislation today to manufacture and distribute high-quality, reusable masks to everyone in the country.

According to a media release from Senator Sander’s office, Senate co-sponsors of Sanders’ Masks for All Act include:

  • Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
  • Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
  • Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
  • Representatives Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Lori Trahan (D-Mass.), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) introduced the Masks for All Act in the House, with more than two dozen cosponsors.

According to one estimate, widespread mask wearing could save over 40,000 American lives by November 1, while another analysis predicted that widespread mask wearing would save the U.S. economy $1 trillion.

The legislation also sets up pick-up sites for additional masks at convenient community locations that are already providing essential services, such as Post Offices, pharmacies, schools, public transportation stations, and COVID-19 testing sites. Additionally, the Masks for All Act provides surgical masks and N-95 respirators to all workers in health settings. To do this, the Masks for All Act would use all available authorities, including the Defense Production Act.

We are the only high-income country in the world where infections and deaths are skyrocketing instead of falling. Nearly 150,000 are dead and 1,000 more are dying every day. That is an absolute scandal. ~ Sen. Bernie Sanders

 

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To read a summary of the bill, click here.

To read a section-by-section outline of the bill, click here.

To read the text of the bill, click here.