Allentown, Pa. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) issued the following statement regarding Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's announcement that Pennsylvanians should wear cloth masks when they must leave their homes:

"Earlier this week, I urged the Wolf administration to update state guidelines and encourage all Pennsylvanians to wear cloth masks or facial barriers if they must leave their homes. With the CDC poised to announce new guidelines on this issue, I am pleased that the governor has taken this action. Wearing a cloth mask when in public will limit transmission of the virus, which can be spread through saliva emitted in a cough, sneeze, or even when speaking and breathing. Put simply, my mask protects you, and your mask protects me.

"I echo the governor's warnings that N95 or surgical masks should be reserved for front-line health care workers, and that a cloth mask or facial barrier is not a substitute for staying home and regularly washing our hands, but it is an important complement."

BACKGROUND:

• SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 2020: Senator Toomey became first member of Congress to endorse the "Masks4All" movement. He posted a video to social media on Saturday evening encouraging Pennsylvanians, that if they must leave their homes, they cover their mouths and noses. You may view that video here.

• WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2020: Senator Toomey and Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) announce their bipartisan effort to encourage the CDC to update its guidance to encourage Americans to wear a mask or facial barrier when they leave their homes. Reuters story here.

• THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2020: It was announced that CDC is updating its guidance to encourage people to wear a cloth mask when they venture out. Senator Toomey and Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) who are leading the congressional push in support this change issued the following statement available here.

Senator Toomey has also had conversations with Dr. Robert Redfield, the Director of the CDC and Dr. Jay Butler, Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases of the CDC. He also spoke directly with President Trump to encourage the CDC to update its guidance.