WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is proposing withholding coronavirus relief money to states that do not require masks.
The senator this week wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to issue a nationwide mandate for face coverings.
Feinstein wants to amend the next COVID relief bill to that states that don’t enforce face coverings can’t receive stimulus money.
This comes as new research suggests if everyone consistently wore a mask, the pandemic could be curbed in just a couple months.
And new research from UCSF and John Hopkins find that masks not only protect other people, but those who wear them and still contract the virus tend to have much milder symptoms.
Doctor Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert and professor of medicine, wants to get the word out about how important masks are to fighting this pandemic.
She is concerned about the debate over masks and that the notion of personal freedom got mixed into public health.
”I'm really horrified because this is scientific," she said. "Everyone's miserable, we all want to get through the pandemic faster, so we all have to wear a mask.”
Gandhi said any piece of cloth will do – as long as it covers your nose and mouth.
This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.