Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves took massive steps this week to return their respective states back to mostly normal, striking down the statewide mask mandate and taking huge steps to reopen businesses and state commerce in general to 100 percent.
Many believed that more southern, red states would follow suit, including Alabama. But on Thursday, residents of the Yellowhammer State found out that they’ll be required to wear face diapers for at least another month after Republican Governor Kay Ivey extended the mask mandate until April 9.
Reuters has the story:
Alabama’s governor on Thursday extended for another month an order mandating residents to wear face masks to protect against COVID-19, breaking with Mississippi and Texas as the issue again becomes the focus of political debate.
Alabama’s mask order, which had been due to expire on Friday, will now stay in effect until April 9, Republican Governor Kay Ivey told a news briefing.
“After that, it’ll be personal responsibility,” the 76-year-old governor said, adding she would wear her mask beyond that date. “Folks, we’re not there yet, but goodness knows we’re getting closer.”
Many U.S. states and major cities, seeing a sharp decline in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations, have begun to ease unprecedented lockdowns and business closures imposed a year ago.
“While I’m convinced that a mask mandate has been the right thing to do, I also respect those who object, and believe that this was a step too far in government overreach,” Ivey said in setting April 9 as the final day that face protections will be mandatory.
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to lift that state’s mask order and allow most businesses to reopen has been criticized by the administration of President Joe Biden.
“The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, ‘In the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it.’ It still matters,” the Democratic president aid on Wednesday.
As of Thursday, 34 U.S. states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, still mandate that residents wear masks in public. Mississippi also lifted its face-covering order on Tuesday.
About 45,000 COVID-19 patients were being treated in U.S. hospitals as of Wednesday night, compared with a peak of about 132,000 on Jan. 6.
A quick search through social media revealed quickly that many are extremely unhappy with Gov. Ivey’s decision to keep the mask mandate in place for another 30 days.
As a newly elected Senator at the University of Alabama, I am calling on the University to follow in the footsteps of states like Texas, Mississippi, and what appears to soon be Alabama in rescinding our on-campus mask mandate.
The time is now. Faith, over fear.
— CJ Pearson (@thecjpearson) March 4, 2021
Only time will tell if other Republican governors around the country have the fortitude to make the decision to return freedom to its residents like Abbott and Reeves. Hopefully, they will.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org