Sen. Manchin on a federal mask mandate, another stimulus and Trump’s coronavirus handlingjuin 30, 2020
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined “Your World with Neil Cavuto” and addressed a number of issues involving the coronavirus, including whether there should be a federal mandate for wearing a mask.
“I think it’s a good practice to have a mask on. whether you’re going to make it federal law and a federal offense… I think that might be going a little bit too hard,” Manchin said Tuesday. “But it would be great if the president would lead a little bit on this and show that it is a safe, prudent thing to do. I try to do it all the time.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a face mask mandate was “long overdue” while appearing ABC’s “This Week” over the weekend.
Manchin also responded to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden rebuking President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, charging that the president’s steps “haven’t gotten the job done” and claiming Trump had “surrendered” and “waved white flag” in the fight against the outbreak.
The senator said he’s always tried to be “respectful” of the office of the presidency but named multiple ways the president could have done better, in particular with testing and the Defense Production Act, adding “hindsight is 20/20.”
Manchin reacted to White House task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci saying 100,00 cases of coronavirus a day was possible.
“We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day, I wouldn’t be surprised if we go up to 100,000 [cases] a day if this does not turn around,” he said at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing. “I am very concerned.”
Manchin said Fauci’s words should be taken seriously.
“I have all the respect for… Dr. Fauci, I mean, he has been well, well respected for many, many years and different many administrations and in a nonpartisan way,” Manchin said, pointing out the number of cases in his state. “So I take his advice really to heart.”
Manchin also said he was reluctant to support a new stimulus bill, noting that much of the money in the last stimulus hadn’t been distributed yet.
“Over 22 states haven’t even distributed the money we’ve given them,” Manchin said, criticizing how his state’s governor planned to use the money. “A hundred million dollars he’s putting into a highway, COVID related highway. I don’t know of a pothole that’s had the COVID virus. I haven’t found one yet. So how they’re using it for highways and potholes and not using it for people is beyond me.”
“So I’m. A little bit reluctant when we start saying, let’s put more money, just put more money to it,” Manchin added. “Let’s make sure what we’ve done has worked and what hasn’t worked.”
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly, Paul Steinhauser, Adam Shaw and Allie Raffa contributed to this report.