Kamala Harris says there will be no 'punishment' for not wearing masks under Biden

Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisProgressives rally around Turner’s House bid Lawmakers grapple with implementing COVID-19 vaccine on Capitol Hill Overnight Health Care: FDA endorses safety and efficacy of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine | FDA authorizes first at-home, over counter test | Fauci says Trump, Biden should be vaccinated soon MORE said Wednesday that President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDeVos urges Education Dept. staff to ‘resist’ when Biden takes office LGBTQ groups celebrate Buttigieg pick for Transportation secretary Biden administration needs bipartisan solutions for older Americans, lawmakers say MORE’s administration is not seeking “punishment” for people who do not wear masks, despite his call for a nationwide mandate.

“There’s no punishment, … they don’t have to. But [Biden] is saying, as a leader, ‘Please, everybody work with me here. For the first 100 days, let’s everybody just wear a mask … and see the outcomes there,’” Harris told ABC News’s Robin Roberts. “Because of course the scientists and the public health officials tell us there’ll be really great outcomes if everyone does wear a mask when they’re in public and outdoors.”


The incoming administration’s 100-day coronavirus plan involves distributing 100 million doses of the vaccine and a 100-day nationwide mask mandate.

Roberts also asked Harris about the message officials send when they fail to live up to public health rules, specifically citing Harris’s home state. Both Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomPressley urges Newsom to appoint a Black woman to Harris’s seat California Gov. Newsom faces recall campaign over coronavirus restrictions The governor who stole Christmas — and the California businesses fighting back MORE (D) and San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) have both been sharply criticized for dining out.

“I think we all have to understand that right now, this is a moment for everyone to sacrifice. And if we’re gonna get through this together as a country, then we all have to do it,” Harris said.

Harris also echoed comments by Biden that the pandemic will likely prevent a traditional inauguration.

“It’s going to be very different than anything that we’ve witnessed before because of COVID. And we’re going to ask people to enjoy the moment from their homes,” she said. “We’re going to, I think, do it very much like we did the convention and, you know, figure out a production in a way that people all over the country get to participate.”