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Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

Representing the 24th District of Florida

Wilson Introduces the Masks for All Act

Jul 15, 2020
Press Release

Miami, FL – Congresswoman Wilson introduced this week H.R. 7607, the Masks for All Act, which would require the use of face masks in all public spaces and outside when one cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more from anyone who is not a member of the same household. The legislation also calls for increased funding to states through grants to promote universal access to face masks as an emergency response to the national coronavirus pandemic.

A growing body of scientific evidence strongly suggests that masks are effective at slowing the spread of the virus and can reduce transmission by as much as 50 percent. In addition, a recent study found that mask mandates lead to a slowdown in the daily COVID-19 growth rate. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend the use of cloth masks and more than 100 medical and scientific experts have called for requirements to wear masks in public.

Despite federal guidance, only a third of Americans report always wearing their mask in public. The Masks for All Act would support measures that have been adopted by counties and states across the country to safeguard public health by mandating that residents wear face masks to protect themselves and others. All but six states and more than 100 counties have enacted some requirements to wear masks. 

The legislation also would help remove barriers to accessing face coverings by establishing a grant program to make available widespread automated mask dispensers. In several other countries, including Germany and Singapore, face mask vending machines have been erected as part of efforts to ensure access for all residents. The novel program seeks to replicate similar effective public health initiatives. For example, high schools and universities across the United States have installed vending machines that dispense contraceptives to combat the spread of STDs and there are feminine hygiene product dispensers in restrooms in most public buildings.

“In Florida, and other parts of the country, we’re experiencing a dangerous resurgence of coronavirus cases. We all have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our community, especially the most vulnerable among us, by wearing a mask when outside of the home or when it is not possible to practice social distancing,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “The Mask for All Act calls on all Americans to do their part to help defeat this invisible foe.”