WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Joe Biden signed a series of executive orders upon his inauguration on Monday, with the first one addressing the mask challenge amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The executive order of "100 Days Masking Challenge" requires masks and physical distancing in all federal buildings, on all federal lands and by federal employees and contractors.
As of Jan. 19, a total of 37 U.S. state governments required people to wear face coverings in public to curb the spread of COVID-19. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico also have mask orders in place, according to the AARP, a U.S. nonprofit, non-partisan organization focusing on issues affecting those over the age of fifty.
Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. His inauguration came at a time when the country recorded over 24.38 million COVID-19 cases and over 404,000 deaths.