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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced police will begin issuing citations to residents who refuse to wear face masks. Turner announced the new directive during a press briefing on Monday.

"For months, we have been focusing on education and not citations, but now I am instructing the Houston Police Department to issue the necessary warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public if they do not meet the criteria for an exemption," the mayor said.

The citation comes with a $250 fine, Turner tweeted on Monday.

"Lives are at stake, so I am taking this step to save lives and slow the virus from spreading in the month of August," he wrote.

Police said they would not responds to 911 calls reporting people not wearing face masks, but they would issue citations if they see someone out and about with a face covering.

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Turner asked residents not to "get mad" at police officers doing their jobs. "It's all about public health and driving our numbers down," he said.

Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, suggested people wear face masks inside their homes to protect elderly parents or grandparents.

President Trump said he will mobilize the U.S. military to distribute Covid-19 vaccines when they become available.

Trump's announcement prompted his supporters to question their loyalty to him.