Some Democratic pols finally read the room on mask mandates
It’s taken a lot of time, and a few harsh election results in 2021, but the blue state Democratic move away from mask mandates has gone from a slow walk to a mad dash, at least in some places:
“There’s no question, whether it was last year’s election, whether it was getting a sense of the pulse of the state, people are frustrated. They are fatigued,” [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, who nearly lost his reelection bid last November, said in an interview. “There’s learning loss in our kids, mental health and stress among kids and adults. Folks are yearning for some sense of normalcy — and count me, by the way, among them.”
That’s the backdrop as Murphy, long one of the nation’s most aggressive governors on health restrictions, announced…he was lifting New Jersey’s school mask mandate — one of a slew of Democratic governors to do so as polls suggest voters are weary of restrictions and last November’s elections highlight Democrats’ vulnerability on the pandemic.
That last bit is the real motivator here: Democratic vulnerability heading into this year’s elections.
But it looks like the Biden administration’s CDC director may stand in the way. According to leaked testimony audio:
“The CDC provides guidance,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky can be heard saying on the recording. “Our guidance currently is that masking should happen in all schools right now.”
And that’s exactly what Democrats hope to avoid – an endless mask recommendation for school kids. The CDC uses its weasel words to say the final decisions rest with local officials…who say they are only following CDC guidelines…which the CDC says are just recommendations…and so on.
This daisy chain of taking no responsibility makes politicians nervous – because it means they have to take a stand. The clock is ticking on that one…and voters are waiting.