House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Is hosting a press conference at the Capitol Visitor Center on Friday, June 26, 2020.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that a federal mandate to wear masks was "long overdue" as state governors called for a unified national message on the subject as coronavirus cases increased across the country.
Pelosi said the disease control and prevention centers recommended the use of masks to reduce the spread of the virus, but never mandated "not to offend" President Donald Trump.
The president has repeatedly violated public health guidelines by refusing to wear a mask in public since the outbreak began.
"The president should be a role model. Real men wear masks, are a role model for the country, wear a mask," Pelosi said in an interview on ABC's "This Week". "It's not about protecting yourself, it's about protecting others."
Wearing masks has become a controversial issue in the United States, although research has shown that face covers prevent the transmission of coronaviruses.
U.S. coronavirus cases increased more than 45,000 in one day on Friday, a record increase that, according to Johns Hopkins University, increased the total number of cases to more than 2.5 million.
Vice President Mike Pence declined a question on a federal mandate that Americans must wear masks on Sunday, saying people should listen to what state and local officials say about wearing masks in public.
The vice president said in an interview on CBS "Face the Nation" that "every state has a unique situation" and "we believe that people should wear masks where social distancing is not possible."
When asked if the President and Vice President should do more to provide an example of wearing masks, Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday that there should be a "consistent national message" on wearing masks.
"You can have two messages at the same time. Your message is: let's strengthen our economy, but also the message of social distancing to protect ourselves and others from the virus," said Hutchinson in an interview on ABCs "This Week" . ""
Arkansas, like a dozen other states, has seen a significant increase in new coronavirus cases in recent days, with the seven-day average rising 36%.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden said that if he was elected, he would require the use of masks in public. The CDC currently recommends that people wear face coverings in public when social distancing is difficult to maintain and some states and local communities require masks.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee criticized the President on Sunday for his "harmful" tweets and failure to deliver a "health message" to the Americans to fight the pandemic.
"Instead of tweeting recently about the importance of masks, he tweeted about the monuments," said Inslee in an interview on CBS "Face the Nation". "Now we need a president who cares more about living Americans and less about dead Confederates. This has a huge impact."
"And if we can get everyone to wear a MAGA hat to wear a mask, we will tame this virus because this masking is very, very effective," added Inslee.