"No, I don't think it should be mandatory. I wouldn't demand that it be mandatory, but I will do everything in my power, just like I don't think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide... I will do everything in my power as the President of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing," Biden said.
He added that in his inaugural speech he will ask Americans to commit for 100 days to wearing a mask, saying that wearing masks is 'not a political issue, it's become one.'
- Will you propose vaccines be mandatory?
JOE BIDEN: No, I don't think it should be mandatory. I wouldn't demand it to be mandatory. But I will do everything in my power-- just like I don't think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide-- I'll do everything in my power as the president of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing, and, when they do it, demonstrate that it matters. That's why I said, in my inaugural speech, I'm going to ask people to commit for 100 days to wear a mask. Not because I'm asking it for any reason to punish. This is not a political issue. It's become one.
But if people do it for 100 days in the middle of what will be still a raging crisis, and the vaccine is able to be distributed, they're going to see deaths drop off the edge. They're going to see hundreds of thousands of people not getting sick. And my hope is, they'll be then inclined to say, OK, it's worth the patriotic duty to go ahead and protect other people. Thank you all so very much.