Source: C-Span

U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham called on South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster to issue a statewide mask mandate Monday, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Palmetto State. Cunningham proposed mandate would run through December.

“It appears our governor has simply given up on fighting the spread of this deadly virus,” Cunningham said in a press release Monday. “This lack of political courage by the governor has indirectly encouraged apathy towards the virus and unquestionably led to an increase in cases and deaths in our state.”

Cunningham’s challenge comes as the state notched another 2,413 positive cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the fourth-straight day of at least 2,000 cases.

McMaster has said that statewide mask mandates would be unenforceable and possibly unconstitutional. State Attorney General Alan Wilson said local governments can pass their own mandates, and many have. Leaders in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston and Charleston County, among other places, have all mandated masks in public places.

“I’m asking Governor McMaster to put the lives of South Carolinians ahead of his own political life. Real leadership means doing what is right even when it’s hard. And this moment requires that kind of leadership,” Cunningham said.

Last month, Cunningham lost his bid for reelection, defeated by Republican state Rep. Nancy Mace. The 116th Congress adjourns on Jan. 3, 2021.