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Will Biden’s proposed mask mandate actually force people to wear facial coverings?

Even with a raging surge of COVID-19 cases, rising death tolls, and overwhelmed hospitals, Joe Biden probably does not have the legal authority to order people to wear face masks when he officially becomes president in January, according to Northeastern professors.

In August, Biden told reporters that “every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing” to quell the spread of the coronavirus. But that statement might have been less a legal directive and more of an attempt to deliver consistent messaging and make mask-wearing seem routine, says Wendy Parmet, university distinguished professor of law and director of Northeastern’s Center for Health Policy and Law.

“There’s a lot a president can do, but can he just sign a piece of paper that says, ‘Thou shalt wear masks or else?’ No,” Parmet says.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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