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UFCW and Over 100 Health Experts Call for Mask Mandates Nationwide

July 14, 2020 Updated: September 4, 2020

UFCW grocery workers wear masks and maintain 6ft distance in the bakery

On July 10, the UFCW announced a new partnership with over 100 health experts in a call to enact public mask mandates in all 50 states to combat the spread of COVID-19.

In a full-page advertisement in The New York Times on Sunday, July 12, the UFCW and a coalition of health experts called on governors, members of Congress, and the Trump Administration for immediate action to make masks mandatory in public in all 50 states. A new report shows the majority of governors have failed to enact public mask mandates as infections pass 3 million and both shoppers and frontline workers continue to be at risk.

“As COVID-19 spikes across the country continue to put America’s frontline workers at risk, it is time for governors, members of Congress, and the Trump Administration to step up and make public mask mandates the law in all 50 states,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone in a statement.

“In every grocery store in America, frontline workers are continuing to put themselves in harm’s way to make sure our families have the food we need. Without immediate action, these brave workers will continue to get sick and die. The science is clear – masks are the most powerful tool we have to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep both workers and shoppers safe. With governors in the majority of states refusing to make masks mandatory, millions of Americans are needlessly being put in danger every day. It’s time for elected leaders to pull their heads out of the sand and make masks mandatory in all 50 states to protect these brave workers and the millions of families they serve.”

In addition to the UFCW, the open letter in the full-page advertisement to elected leaders is signed by over 100 health experts from the World Economic Forum; MIT; Harvard; Stanford; Yale; the National Academy of Sciences; and many other leading organizations.

“Research suggests that over 200,000 American COVID-19 cases have already been averted thanks to the mask requirements covering much of the U.S., and it is estimated that requirements in the rest of the country could add over $1 trillion dollars to the U.S. GDP,” said Jeremy Howard, a distinguished research scientist at the University of San Francisco who was a co-organizing signatory to the letter.

The New York Times advertisement can be viewed here.