(Natural News) A number of Democrat states have not repealed their indoor mask mandates despite new guidance on face coverings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated Americans need not wear masks in indoor and outdoor settings. However, this has failed to convince some states led by Democrat governors to relax existing restrictions.
According to a May 13 CNBC report, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky confirmed that fully vaccinated individuals can eschew masks and physical distancing. “Anyone who is fully vaccinated [against COVID-19] can participate in indoor and outdoor activities … without wearing a mask or physical distancing. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” she said.
Walensky, however, clarified that there are still some exemptions to this new guidance. Unvaccinated people should still wear masks as they remain at risk of contracting and falling ill from COVID-19. The CDC director added that those with compromised immune systems should speak with their doctor before going maskless.
The state of New Jersey is one of many that have not lifted indoor mask mandates. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced on May 17 that he would repeal outdoor masks mandates on that day. However, New Jerseyans are still required to mask indoors. “The majority of [the state’s residents] are still unvaccinated, and keeping this mandate in place in public settings protects you, your family, essential workers and our entire community,” he remarked.
Murphy later defended his refusal to lift mask-wearing requirements indoors. He said: “Dr. [Anthony] Fauci himself said … he thinks lifting indoor mask mandates at this time could lead to a rise in infections.” The governor nevertheless commented that masks would no longer be required in indoor spaces in the not-so-distant future.
However, even Fauci himself has called to “liberalize the restrictions so people can feel like they’re getting back to some normalcy.” The director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said: “Pulling back restrictions on indoor masks is an important step in the right direction.”
He added: “You can’t inhibit people from doing the things they want to do, which is one of the reasons they wanted to get vaccinated in the first place.” But even though the NIAID director advocated for less stringent mask mandates, he still recommended children too young to be vaccinated to mask up.
On the other hand, many Republican governors “followed the science” and discontinued indoor mask mandates
Meanwhile, Republican states adhered to CDC guidelines and dropped their mask mandates altogether – with the state of West Virginia among them. A May 14 WBOY 12 report said that GOP Gov. Jim Justice would sign a new executive order modifying West Virginia’s statewide mask mandate. He said that in line with CDC guidance, fully vaccinated West Virginians need not wear face masks in most settings.
However, Justice emphasized that those who are not yet immunized against COVID-19 still need to mask up until June 20. He commented that people “do not have a constitutional right” to refuse to wear a mask and added that private businesses and schools can mandate people to wear one. Justice then challenged those against masks to get themselves inoculated if they do not like face coverings. (Related: ‘Woke’ corporations ignore CDC; will still require customers to wear masks.)
But even before the CDC issued its latest guidelines on masks, Texas went ahead and dropped mask mandates altogether. Back in March of this year, GOP Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order repealing mask orders and allowing businesses in the Lone Star State to reopen at full capacity. The state’s Wuhan coronavirus positivity rate dropped as a result. (Related: Coronavirus cases continue to drop in Texas after lifting mask mandate and reopening businesses.)
A March 2 statement by Abbott’s office said: “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening [the state] 100 percent. Make no mistake – COVID-19 has not disappeared. [But] it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.”
While many lauded Abbott’s move, Democrats slammed his decision to lift stringent mandates. California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the decision “absolutely reckless” in a tweet. Even President Joe Biden put in his two cents on the matter, equating Abbott’s move to lift coronavirus restrictions to “Neanderthal thinking.”