As coronavirus infections start declining, many liberal states have eliminated their stringent mask mandates. Meanwhile, the White House is still reluctant to announce a shift towards maskless America.
Liberal governors are finally removing mask mandates
New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul announced lifting her mask mandate on Wednesday, which will bar business owners from asking customers for masks or vaccination status any further.
The mandates, which sparked legal and interpersonal clashes in many conservative areas of New York, were bound to expire on Thursday, but they will not be renewed now.
However, it still remains unclear whether the same governor would renew the mask mandate in New York schools that are about to expire in two weeks.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul ends COVID-19 mask mandate requiring face coverings in most indoor public settings. pic.twitter.com/Dm56yFw6PK
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 9, 2022
New York was not the only state to loosen coronavirus restrictions. Many other Democrat-led states, including New Jersey and California, have announced similar measures this week.
The New York Times reported this move indicates even local officials who put these strict measures in place are now holding a lenient stance against the virus.
Researchers are even suggesting removing school mask mandates, as the omicron variant is now fading away.
According to Harvard University researcher Joseph Allen, the appropriate time to eradicate the school mask mandate has finally come, so the country should update its strategies against COVID.
Similarly, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, Justin Lessler, claimed the country is moving towards a phase where removing mask mandates makes absolute sense.
White House is still hesitating to embrace normality
As recent surveys indicate Americans now want to live with the virus and come back to normalcy again, Democrat governors have adopted the same tone.
New Jersey’s Governor Philip D. Murphy noted the removal of the mask mandate signifies Americans can responsibly live with the virus.
Thus, students and school staff members no longer need to wear masks, starting on the second week of March in New Jersey. Similarly, Connecticut will ban masks mandates for students and school employees by February 28; Delaware will do the same by March 31.
Omicron in the United States is on a sloppy trajectory these days; the average daily cases declined to 240,000, which is the lowest since December.
However, many states are still reluctant to ban these mandates. New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho, Mississippi, and Louisiana will continue these restrictions in one form or another.
Republican-led states, including Florida and Texas, have already banned mask mandates.
— Las Vegas News (@LasVegas_NV_USA) February 9, 2022
The latest announcement by the Democrat governors is against what the White House believes these days. A reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki about her views regarding New Jersey’s decision to remove the mask mandate.
She reiterated the long-established, liberal stance of the CDC recommending masks for reducing the transmission of the virus.
Speaking against the governors of her own party, Psaki indicated the White House would only buy the data-driven narrative of public health experts.