Virus Outbreak Pence

Vice President Mike Pence holds hands with Karen Pence as he prepares to speak to members of the media at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, as he leaves Washington for Utah ahead of the vice presidential debate schedule for Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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While the president and vice president forwent masks at rallies, the White House quietly encouraged governors to implement mask mandates and, for some, enforce them with fines.

In reports issued to governors on Sept. 20, the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommended statewide mask mandates in Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma. The weekly memos, some of which have been made public by the Center for Public Integrity, advocate mask usage for other states and have even encouraged doling out fines in Alaska, Idaho and, recently, Montana.


Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Post Register Reporter Kyle Pfannenstiel contributed to this story.

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