"Until we find a vaccine, these are really important," McConnell said Friday while holding up a blue mask, according to CNN affiliate WKYT. "This is not as complicated as a ventilator, and this is a way to indicate that you want to protect others."
Some context: The comments from McConnell, as well as other leading congressional Republicans, are in contrast to President Trump's refusal to wear a mask in public and his urge to move on from the pandemic even as cases surge.
McConnell made the comments while visiting a hospital in Morehead, Kentucky, to talk about the money provided to rural healthcare systems from the CARES Act, the massive coronavirus stimulus package that was enacted two months ago.
"I see various events on television in which people are clearly not wearing masks, not taking it seriously and not doing others a favor," McConnell also said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. "We need to get past that in order to protect not only ourselves but our friends and colleagues and others until we get to a vaccine."
In contrast to other nation's dealing with the pandemic, mask wearing in the US has taken on a political dimension –– in part because of Trump.