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Rubio Rips 'Derangement' Of Political Debate Over Masks As COVID-19 Cases Spike

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In a Friday morning tweet, Rubio argued that “politics has made us so crazy” that the practice of choosing or refusing to wear facial coverings amid rising coronavirus cases has devolved into a “derangement” roiling the country.

Rubio’s Friday tweet expands on his remarks last week as he left a GOP lunch where Vice President Mike Pence gave a coronavirus update. According to CNN, Rubio said “everyone should just wear a damn mask, like you guys are, like I am right now,” a message he claimed that he also shared with his Republican colleagues during the GOP lunch.

Rubio’s demand for the public to comply with mask wearing requirements came amid growing calls from Republicans to wear masks despite President Trump’s reluctance to do so publicly. Vice President Mike Pence; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Mitt Romney (R-UT); Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY); and former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney have all urged the public recently to adopt the practice in light of surging coronavirus cases.

During an interview on Fox Business Network on Wednesday, Trump finally said that he is “all for masks” after repeatedly punting to local officials on the matter. However, the President wouldn’t commit to making mask requirements mandatory and has yet to wear a mask in public.

Despite Pence finally encouraging the public to wear masks after spending most of last weekend deferring to local officials and governors on mask requirements, the VP told CNBC on Thursday that he doesn’t think “there’s a need for a national mandate” because the Trump administration supports local officials’ efforts.

About The Author

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Summer Concepcion is the front page editor of Talking Points Memo based in New York City. Previously, she covered the 2016 presidential election for Fusion and worked as a researcher at The Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. She's an LA native and former Chicago transplant. Reach her at summer@talkingpointsmemo.com