Covid-19 Live Updates and Analysis

The Four Percent


The latest mask mandates came a day after Mr. Trump, who has long resisted wearing masks and at times even disparaged them, made his most robust call for wearing them yet, urging: “When you can, use a mask.” Some of the nation’s largest retail chains, including Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Whole Foods, have also moved to require customers to wear them.

Asked if he favored such mandates, Mr. Trump said Wednesday evening that it should be up to the governors — “I think all are suggesting if you want to wear a mask, you wear it,” he said — and that he would decide “over the next 24 hours” whether to require masks be worn on federal properties in Washington and at the White House.

But several more governors decided the time for masks had come.

“We’ve got to get this virus under control,” Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio said Wednesday as he issued a statewide mask order that will take effect Thursday evening. “Wearing a mask is going to make a difference.”

“We all want kids to go back to school, we want to see sports, we want to see a lot of different things, we want to have more opportunities in the fall,” said Mr. DeWine, who had previously ordered people only in the state’s hardest-hit counties to wear masks. “And to do that, it’s very important that all Ohioans wear a mask.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana, a Republican, said Wednesday that he would sign an order mandating masks in most public settings beginning Monday. “As we continue to monitor the data, we’ve seen a concerning change in some of our key health indicators,” he said on Twitter. “Hoosiers have worked hard to help re-open our state & we want to remain open.”

In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Wednesday requiring residents to wear masks in indoor stores and other public indoor spaces beginning Saturday. Mr. Walz said that the state would distribute masks to people and businesses in underserved communities.

Minnesota’s lieutenant governor, Peggy Flanagan, whose brother died of Covid-19, acknowledged that masks had turned into “a political football,” but said the mandate could prevent the virus from spreading. “I just simply don’t want anyone else to endure what my family has endured,” she said.



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