Republican governors are pushing back against adding mask mandates after the Centers for Disease Control issues new guidelines on Tuesday as the nation’s response to COVID-19 becomes increasingly political.
“The time for government mask mandates is over — now is the time for personal responsibility,” Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted on Tuesday.
“In May, I signed an executive order prohibiting mask mandates by gov’t entities.
“Every Texan has the right to choose whether they will wear a mask or have their children wear masks.”
The time for government mask mandates is over—now is the time for personal responsibility.
In May, I signed an executive order prohibiting mask mandates by gov’t entities.
Every Texan has the right to choose whether they will wear a mask or have their children wear masks.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 27, 2021
Several other GOP governors have released statements with a similar response.
“Arizona does not allow mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports or discrimination in schools based on who is or isn’t vaccinated. We’ve passed all of this into law, and it will not change,” Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The CDC today is recommending that we wear masks in school and indoors, regardless of our vaccination status,” he added. “This is just another example of the Biden-Harris administration’s inability to effectively confront the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The CDC’s new guidance suggesting that vaccinated people wear masks indoors flies in the face of the public health goals that should guide the agency’s decision making,” Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a statement.
“The State of Nebraska will not be adopting their mask guidance,” he added.
“South Dakota’s cases remain low,” South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted on Tuesday. “If you’re worried about the virus, you’re free to get vaccinated, wear a mask, or stay at home. But we won’t be mandating anything. And the CDC’s inconsistency doesn’t help the American people.”
The CDC shifts their position AGAIN.
South Dakota’s cases remain low. If you’re worried about the virus, you’re free to get vaccinated, wear a mask, or stay at home. But we won’t be mandating anything. And the CDC’s inconsistency doesn’t help the American people.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) July 27, 2021
“The Biden Administration’s new COVID-19 guidance telling fully vaccinated Iowans to now wear masks is not only counterproductive to our vaccination efforts, but also not grounded in reality or common sense,” Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement on Tuesday. “I’m concerned that this guidance will be used as a vehicle to mandate masks in states and schools across the country, something I do not support.
“The vaccine remains our strongest tool to combat COVID-19, which is why we are going to continue to encourage everyone to get the vaccine.
“I am proud that we recently put new laws in place that will protect Iowans against unnecessary government mandates in our schools and local governments. As I have throughout this pandemic, I trust Iowans to do the right thing.”
The House of Representatives announced late Tuesday it would mandate mask-wearing indoors, and those who do not comply will be fined.
In response, some GOP House members have filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, offering another political element to the mask mandate battle.
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