Walmart announced Wednesday that it will require customers to wear face masks in all of its stores nationwide. Other retailers have adopted a mandatory mask policy this week, and a powerful association of CEOs from major U.S. corporations are calling for all companies to require face coverings.
The Business Roundtable is an "association of chief executive officers of America's leading companies working to promote a thriving U.S. economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy."
Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon serves as BRT chairman. Other members of BRT include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, and CVS Health CEO Larry J. Merlo.
On Friday, the influential business association, based in Washington, D.C., called for every company to require face masks.
"Rising infection rates around the country are putting public health and our economy at grave risk," the statement read. "Failure to bring the pandemic under control will have devastating, long-term consequences for millions of Americans."
"One of the most effective things we can all do to protect public health and the economy is to wear face coverings in public settings, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain," BRT said.
"Business Roundtable applauds the many companies that are protecting their employees and customers by mandating the use of face coverings indoors consistent with CDC guidelines," BRT said. "We encourage every company to adopt this practice and hope that all Americans will adopt the use of face coverings to protect their families, friends, neighbors, and our economy."
Earlier this month, BRT co-signed a letter along with the National Retail Federation addressed to President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The letter requested national guidelines for "imposing location-based mandatory mask requirements in all public spaces."
The National Retail Federation is also "encouraging all retailers to adopt a nationwide policy that requires customers to wear face coverings or masks to protect the health and well-being of customers, associates and partners during the coronavirus pandemic."
The NRF has members from Walmart, Google, Facebook, Macy's, BJ's, American Express, IBM, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc., and the Ralph Lauren Corporation.
"The health and safety of associates and customers is retailers' number one priority and wearing a face covering or mask is scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19," the statement from the NRF read. "Workers serving customers should not have to make a critical decision as to whether they should risk exposure to infection or lose their jobs because a minority of people refuse to wear masks in order to help stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus."
Many nationwide companies have already instituted policies of requiring patrons to wear face masks in stores.
Which stores do you have to wear a face mask in?
All of these companies currently have a mandatory mask policy or will require face coverings by Aug. 1.
- Aldi (Starts July 27)
- Best Buy
- BJ's Wholesale Club (Starts July 20)
- CVS Health (Starts July 20)
- Dollar Tree
- Family Dollar
- Home Depot (Starts July 22)
- Kohl's (Starts July 20)
- Kroger (Starts July 22)
- Panera Bread
- Publix (Starts July 21)
- Qurate Retail Group
- Sam's Club (Starts July 20)
- Schnuck Markets (Starts July 20)
- Target (Starts Aug. 1)
- Walgreens (Starts July 20)
- Walmart (Starts July 20)