On Thursday, California governor Gavin Newsom made it mandatory for residents to wear face masks when in public spaces, in health care settings like hospitals and pharmacies, and where it is not possible to stay two metres apart from others.
“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” Newsom said in a statement about the new order. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.
“Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered, putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease.”
Schwarzenegger — who was the governor of California from 2003 to 2010 — publicly supported the move and accused anyone who made wearing face masks a “political issue” of being a “moron”.
“This is 100 percent the right move,” the Terminator actor wrote in a tweet following Newsom’s announcement.
“This will help us beat this terrible virus. The science is unanimous — if we all wear masks, we slow down the spread and can reopen safely.”
Schwarzenegger continued: “It’s not a political issue. Anyone making it a political issue is an absolute moron who can’t read.”
The 72-year-old has been consistently vocal about the safety efforts required to help tackle the pandemic.
In March, Schwarzenegger tweeted: “Stay at home as much as possible. Listen to the experts, ignore the morons. We will get through this together.”
The action star also donated $1m to a Frontline Responders campaign aimed at combating the “shortage of masks, gowns, gloves and other critical supplies” to protect medical professionals”.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face masks are essential in helping to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“Cloth face coverings may prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading respiratory droplets when talking, sneezing, or coughing,” the CDC’s guidelines state. “If everyone wears a cloth face covering when out in public, such as going to the grocery store, the risk of exposure can be reduced for the community.”
States including Michigan, New York, Maine, Delaware and Maryland already have statewide mask orders in place.
Earlier this week, the US president claimed that some Americans are wearing masks just to show their disapproval of him and not to help slow the spread of the virus.
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