2020 Election

Biden Would Fine People Not Wearing Masks on Federal Land

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday said he would institute a policy of fining people not wearing a mask on federal land or property.

"On federal land, I would have the authority [to enforce a mask mandate]," Biden said during a CNN town hall. "If you're on federal land, you must wear a mask. In a federal building, you must wear a mask. And we could have a fine for them not doing it."

Biden previously called for a national mandate, although he alternatively said he would call on governors to use their state power for such a mandate. When pressed about the details Wednesday, he said he was not sure if such an executive order would pass legal muster but said his team believes it would.

"The question is whether I have the legal authority as president to sign an executive order," Biden said Wednesday. "We think we do, but can’t guarantee you that yet."

CNN's town hall moderator Anderson Cooper asked Biden if mask enforcement would be like the 1918 pandemic, where some outdoor courts were set up to fine people not wearing them. Biden told him he wanted to see governors enforcing mask mandates any way they could.