Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer is calling on President Donald Trump to issue a federal mandate on face coverings.

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In an op-ed piece published by the New York TImes, Whitmer said the Trump administration needs to step up and make masks mandatory at the federal level in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. She also addressed concerns that the federal government may push for schoolchildren to return to in-person learning before it's safe to do so.

"To slow the rise and further protect our families from this virus, we need the Trump administration to issue a federal mask mandate," she wrote. "When more Americans wear a mask in public, we can save lives and put ourselves in a better position to send our children back to school in the fall."

Whitmer cited a study that shows wearing a face covering can reduce the spread of coronavirus by about 70%.

"Modeling from the University of Washington indicates that more than 40,000 lives would be spared nationwide if 95 percent of the population wore a mask while in public," she noted. "Wearing a mask can also reduce the harsh economic impact the coronavirus has had on our country."

The governor noted that essential workers like medical personnel, grocery store workers, and childcare workers are able to endure wearing a mask every day at work.

"We owe it to them to wear our masks when we go to the grocery store."

Whitmer noted in the article that she disagrees with Donald Trump who is pushing for our nation's schoolchildren to return to in-person learning.

"The president has said repeatedly that he thinks our kids should go back to school," she said. "But I am not sending kids and our education work force into our schools unless it is safe to do so."

The governor then reiterated that the best way to protect the nation's educators and schoolchildren is by everyone masking up. She added that wearing a mask shouldn't be a political issue, but a matter of public safety.

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