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Former governors join Newsom in urging Californians to wear face masks

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Arnold Schwarzenegger and a trio of other former California governors have joined Gov. Gavin Newsom in a public service announcement aimed at promoting the use of face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“This is not about being weak,” says Schwarzenegger, known for his strongman roles in professional bodybuilding and in Hollywood as the “Terminator.”

Schwarzenegger is joined in the video campaign — produced by media company Attn — by Jerry Brown, Gray Davis and Pete Wilson, all of whom are on hand to support Newsom’s statewide mandate requiring the wearing of face coverings in most public settings.

“It’s about fighting the disease and keeping our families and ourselves safe,” Davis adds.

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The campaign comes days after Newsom ordered all Californians to wear face coverings in most indoor settings and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. Newsom issued the order amid the continuing rise of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Prior to the statewide mandate, several counties had rescinded mask-wearing requirements — most notably Orange County, which reversed course on its requirements after the county public health officer who instituted the initial order resigned.

As of early Monday afternoon, there were 179,605 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in California, 1,382 of which were reported Monday, records show.

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“Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered — putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease,” Newsom said last week. “California’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations. That means wearing a face covering, washing your hands and practicing physical distancing.”

The message from the former governors — two Democrats and two Republicans — is that “nobody wants to wear” face masks, but the virus is still present, and wearing face coverings is necessary to stop the spread of the illness in order to continue opening businesses and getting people back to work.

“Just do it,” Schwarzenegger says.


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