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NYC Mayor De Blasio Steers Clear Of Mask Mandate, ‘Strongly’ Recommends Masks Indoors
"Hometown Heroes" Ticker Tape Parade Held In New York City NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 07: Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio attends the "Hometown Heroes" Ticker Tape Parade on July 07, 2021 in New York, New York. Healthcare Workers, first responders and essential workers are honored in Manhattan's Canyon of Heroes for their service during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) Noam Galai / Contributor via Getty Images
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images Noam Galai / Contributor via Getty Images

Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pressed the public to wear masks inside, regardless of vaccination status, on Monday.

“We want to strongly recommend that people wear a mask in indoor settings even if you’re vaccinated,” he said during a briefing. “Now this is particularly true, of course, if you might be around anyone unvaccinated.”

“Vaccines are the number one most powerful weapon against COVID by far,” de Blasio said. “But we also clearly believe there’s a place for masks. Everything thing we do is vaccine-centric. The entire strategy is around vaccines, but of course, we want to make sure people are using masks in all the right way.”

City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said the decision came after new information revealed the delta variant “can spread even more easily than previously thought.”

“While vaccination may be ‘for the win,’ we need to keep putting points on the board against the virus, and that’s where masks come in,” Chokshi said.

Some lawmakers around the country have pushed back against a potential mask mandate after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on masking last week for vaccinated individuals. The announcement caused widespread confusion across the country.

Last week, a business owner explained his position against mask mandates in New York City on Friday in an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”

Eli Klein is the owner of an art gallery and said he is against the city imposing more restrictions. Host John Berman said to Klein, “You really don’t want to go back to masks indoors in your gallery.”

Klein said “it’s not just about my gallery. It’s about New York City generally. If we are subject to sweeping mask mandates now in the summer, you know, let’s be honest … we don’t know when COVID levels will ever be lower than they are now in New York City and that could put us on a slippery slope to all kinds of the same restrictions that we were subject to last year.”

He added, “Things like micro-cluster targeting and capacity limits and business shutdowns. It’s not just a mask.”

“None of us have a problem just putting on a mask. It’s really much more than that. It’s a blueprint for indefinite government restrictions in New York,” he noted. “We’ve had vaccines available for everyone [ages twelve and up] for many months and there has to be an endgame. There has to be an off-ramp.”

Last week, Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis signed an executive order focused on allowing parents to decide if their children should wear a mask in school or not. 

“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-175, in response to several Florida school boards considering or implementing mask mandates in their schools after the Biden Administration issued unscientific and inconsistent recommendations that school-aged children wear masks,” the governor’s office said in a statement on Friday. “The Florida Department of Health will enter rulemaking in collaboration with the Florida Department of Education to protect parents’ freedom to choose whether their children wear masks.”

DeSantis said at a news conference where he signed the order that “the federal government has no right to tell parents that in order for their kids to attend school in person, they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day.”

The executive order came after some districts have moved to potentially require masks to be worn at schools in the fall after the CDC revised its guidance.

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