Mask updates prompt national debate
After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged indoor mask-wearing in public in more than 60 percent of U.S. counties, some states and businesses rushed to restore mask mandates. Others say they’re waiting for updated research. The White House quickly shifted to full masking even though President Joe Biden announced “you’re either vaxxed or masked” in May. The United States currently averages 60,000 new coronavirus cases per day, up from about 13,300 a month ago. The number of daily deaths from COVID-19 has remained steady since then, according to data reported by Worldometer.
What are the reactions to the changes? House Republicans defied Capitol attending physician Brian Monahan’s instructions to wear medical-grade masks indoors. Legislators got into yelling matches outside the chamber. Some called the requirement anti-science and totalitarian, others called it an appropriate adjustment. St. Louis County approved a mask mandate, but the county council voted it out after a day. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava imposed a similar mandate, but Gov. Ron DeSantis recently gave Florida the authority to negate pandemic restrictions. The Democratic governor of Pennsylvania and the Republican governor of South Carolina said they would not revert to mask requirements. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will assess the CDC research before legislating further mandates.
Dig deeper: Listen to Anna Johansen Brown’s report on types of masks on The World and Everything in It.
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