The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new guidelines recommending that all Americans, regardless of vaccination status, should wear masks indoors in areas with high transmission. The agency’s new set of recommendations has spurred backlash, as the country desperately wants to move on from the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Virtually all of the resistance to the recommendation for a return of mask mandates came from the Republican Party. Many have expressed hostility and defiance to the updated masking guidance. (Related: The number of cities and school districts enforcing mask mandates is rapidly growing as CDC authorities admit vaccines are failing.)
In the House of Representatives, many Republicans rose up in anger after the Attending Physician of the United States Congress Dr. Brian Monahan sent a memo informing members that masks have to be worn inside the House at all times.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said: “The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state.”
This statement prompted a response from Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, who called McCarthy a “moron.”
Other representatives had heated altercations over the issue. Rep. Maxine Waters of California verbally assaulted Rep. Burgess Owens of Utah because the latter chose to exercise his freedom to not wear a mask.
On the day Monahan released his memo, House Republicans forced a vote to adjourn the chamber in protest to the mask mandate. This motion was defeated along mostly party lines.
“We have a crisis at our border, and we’re playing footsie with mask mandates in the people’s House,” said Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, the sponsor of the motion to adjourn. “The American people are fed up. They want to go back to life. They want to go back to business. They want to go back to school without their children being forced to wear masks.”
Republican governors fighting back against CDC guidelines
Outside of Congress, Republican governors have been leading the fight to prevent mask mandates.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said that the CDC’s guidance “flies in the face” of the public health goals that the agency should be pushing towards. “The State of Nebraska will not be adopting their mask guidance,” he declared in a statement.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey pointed out that, if the CDC really wants people to get vaccinated, pushing for fully vaccinated people to keep wearing masks will not help in that regard. Furthermore, it creates “more challenges for public health officials.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson called the CDC’s guidance “disappointing and concerning.” Like Ducey, he argued trying to reimpose mask mandates will only further diminish confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines.
“This decision only promotes fear and further division among our citizens,” argued Parson.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said the CDC’s guidance is not based on either common sense or reality.
“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,” she said.
The office of Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas made it clear that his government will no longer be mandating masks. “Now is the time for personal responsibility,” his office said in a statement. “Every Texan has the right to choose whether they will wear a mask, or have their children wear masks.”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem criticized the CDC for being cowed into recommending masks again due to the post-vaccine delta variant of COVID-19. She also went further than her colleagues by criticizing fellow Republican governors for keeping their mask mandate.
“The CDC shifts their position AGAIN,” wrote Noem on her Twitter account. “South Dakota’s cases remain low. If you’re worried about the virus, you’re free to get vaccinated, wear a mask or stay home. But we won’t be mandating anything. And the CDC’s inconsistency doesn’t help the American people.”
In a speech, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took particular aim at the CDC’s call for kids to be forced to wear masks in classrooms.
“It’s not healthy for these students to be sitting there all day, six-year-old kids in kindergarten covered in masks,” he said.
Even former President Donald Trump has weighed in on the mask mandate.
“We won’t go back,” said Trump. “We won’t mask our children. Why do Democrats distrust the science?”
Learn more about the CDC and the Democrats’ attempts to reinstitute local, state and federal mask mandates by reading the latest articles at Pandemic.news.