Walmart Requires All Customers to Wear Masks Nationwide Starting July 20

File photo of a Walmart store Chicago, Illinois on May 19, 2020.
File photo of a Walmart store Chicago, Illinois on May 19, 2020.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Walmart announced on Wednesday it will require all customers nationwide to wear masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The new Walmart policy will start to be enforced on Monday, July 20.


Roughly 65% of Walmart stores in the U.S. were already covered by mask requirements passed by local and state governments, according to a Walmart press release, but the company decided it was time to make the policy universal. Walmart, which has over 5,000 stores across the country, will place so-called “health ambassadors” near the entrance in all stores to enforce the new policy.

“Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers,” Walmart said. “The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution.”

The move by Walmart, first reported by CNN, comes as several other retail stores have announced similar policies, including Best Buy and Starbucks, following a complete lack of national leadership from the Trump regime, which doesn’t have a coherent policy on fighting the current pandemic. Trump is currently trying to get schools to open back up this fall and frequently says the virus will magically “go away” without human intervention.

Over 3.4 million Americans have tested positive for covid-19 and at least 136,000 have died, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.

Masks have become an extremely controversial issue in the U.S. while gaining traction in other parts of the world. Countries in Asia that experienced high rates of SARS, another disease in the coronavirus family, learned in 2003 that masks could help slow the spread of the virus. But western countries have been slower to adopt universal masking. The UK and France both announced this week that they’re looking at national mask requirements, and the Trump regime only embraced masks relatively recently.

Walmart acknowledged the controversy over masks with its new statement on Wednesday.


“We know some people have differing opinions on this topic. We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC,” Walmart said.

“We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our customers and members in wearing face coverings to protect their safety and the safety of our associates.”


The U.S. currently has the worst outbreak in the world, and masks should help to slow the spread. But if America ever wants to actually get rid of the disease, it needs to deploy other methods used by countries around the world, including widespread testing, effective contact tracing, and serious lockdowns. Sadly, every aspect of those public health measures is lacking in the U.S. right now, leading members of the Trump regime to put all their eggs in one basket: masks.

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog


Oh man, the rural right wingers are going to lose their shit about this.