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Joe Biden Would Use Federal Power To Require Face Masks In Public If Elected: 'These Masks Make A Gigantic Difference'

LANCASTER, Pa. (KDKA) -- As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge in several states, Joe Biden says priority number one is masks.

In an exclusive interview Wednesday with KDKA's Ken Rice, Biden shared ideas on masks, coronavirus and rallies.

WATCH: KDKA's Full Interview With Joe Biden

The Biden campaign invited KDKA to Lancaster for a brief interview with the presumptive Democratic nominee. After he wrapped up a campaign event, we came no closer than 8 feet apart and wore masks.

Biden says we need to see more of that.

"I would go back to making sure that everybody had masks, that you had PPE lined up, making sure we stockpile all the things that we need and we don't have now. The one thing we do know, these masks make a gigantic difference. I would insist that everybody in public be wearing that mask. Anyone to reopen, it would have to make sure that they walked into a business that had masks."

Rice: Couldn't you use your federal leverage to mandate that?

Biden: Yes.

Rice: Would you?

Biden: Yes, I would from an executive standpoint, yes I would.

Rice: So you would, in effect, mandate the wearing of masks?

Biden: I would do everything possible to make it required the people had to wear masks in public."

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Rice: On another subject, Mr. Vice President, is your convention going to be virtual? Will you be accepting your nomination to an empty room and on YouTube or something?

Biden: I can't say for sure, but it's probable that will be the case.

Rice: Can you imagine yourself taking the oath of office wearing a mask?

Biden: No, because I could take the mask off at this distance.

Rice: It gets crowded on those Capitol steps though.

Biden: Yeah, but you don't have to have a crowd.

Biden also told KDKA he does not imagine himself having large indoor rallies, like the ones Pres. Donald Trump is currently having.

"Number one, can I imagine being in a situation where we're able to do that? If the virus were under control and moved on and we had talked about a vaccine and we had ways in which to make sure that this was not being transmitted, then yes. But I don't see that happening.

Biden also contents the overwhelming majority of Americans want these precautions taken and want a president who listens to experts and acts responsibly.

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