News and Commentary

Republican Governor BANS Counties, Cities From Forcing Citizens To Wear Masks
Brian Kemp, governor of Georgia, speaks during a 'Wear A Mask' tour stop in Dalton, Georgia, U.S., on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Governor Kemp on Wednesday expressed his skepticism about the need for a statewide mask mandate and his reluctance to impose one, calling it an issue he feels is "overpoliticized."
Elijah Nouvelage / Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Wednesday, Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order barring city and county officials from mandating face masks.

As noted by The Blaze, Kemp’s executive order also “renewed a limit on gatherings of 50 people or more, strongly encouraged people to wear face masks in public, and emphasized measures to be taken by restaurants and providers of essential services to maintain social distancing.”

“Kemp does not view mask mandates as legally enforceable and is not allowing local actions on the matter to be more restrictive than state orders,” The Blaze added. “Kemp not only encourages masks, but also wears one himself in public.”

Angered over Kemp’s executive action, Savannah Democratic Mayor Van Johnson claimed via Twitter on Wednesday that Kemp is ignoring “science” and doesn’t “give a d***” about citizens.

“It is officially official,” Johnson posted. “Governor Kemp does not give a d*** about us. Every man and woman for himself/herself. Ignore the science and survive the best you can.”

“Like all of the local mask mandates, [Atlanta] Mayor Bottoms’ order is unenforceable,” said a statement issued by Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce. “We continue to encourage Georgians to do the right thing and wear a mask voluntarily. If the Mayor wants to flatten the curve in Atlanta, she should start enforcing the current provisions of the Governor’s orders.”

The messaging on masks has been rather inconsistent from medical experts.

In early March, for example, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading voice on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told “60 Minutes” that face masks were not necessary for the general population amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, noting that while masks might make people “feel a little bit better,” they don’t provide the protection folks believe they do and might create “unintended consequences.”

“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” Fauci said during the March 8 interview.

“While masks may block some droplets, Fauci said, they do not provide the level of protection people think they do,” CBS News reported at the time. “Wearing a mask may also have unintended consequences: People who wear masks tend to touch their face more often to adjust them, which can spread germs from their hands.”

“Right now, in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks,” Fauci asserted, adding, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask when you’re in the middle of an outbreak. Wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And often, there are unintended consequences; people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.”

“When you think mask, you should think of health care providers needing them and people who are ill,” added the medical expert.

By April 3, the CDC issued guidance advising cloth face mask coverings for the general population.

“CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States,” the guidance said. “We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (‘asymptomatic’) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (‘pre-symptomatic’) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.”

“In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission,” the CDC added.

Related: Biden Says He’ll Federally Mandate Masks As President

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