Last Monday, Governor Mark Gordon announced that Wyoming will lift its state mask mandate and end various state lockdown measures. Also, the Republican Governor announced that businesses will fully open beginning March 16. Wyoming joins Texas and Mississippi in defying the federal mask mandate. These states will now fully reopen their states to businesses.
Some Pandemic Measures To Remain in Place
Gordon credits the state’s vaccination program for its decision to ease restrictions. Wyoming reported a “declining number of active COVID-19 cases” and hospitalizations. Meanwhile, they also accomplished “significant success” in their local vaccine rollout. However, Gordon will leave some pandemic measures in place. This includes the retention of the state mask mandate in K-12 schools.
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“I thank the people of Wyoming for their commitment to keeping one another safe throughout this pandemic. It is through their efforts that we have kept our schools and businesses operating and our economy moving forward. I ask all Wyoming citizens to continue to take personal responsibility for their actions and stay diligent as we look ahead to the warmer months and to the safe resumption of our traditional spring and summer activities,” Gordon said in a press release. Residents should continue to “wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and to follow the best practices adopted by any business they visit to slow the spread of the virus,” he said.
COVID Cases Down
COVID-19 cases fell to new lows this year, with less than 60 cases per day. In comparison, state health officials reported around 600 cases per day during the Thanksgiving season last year. In addition, 20% of Wyoming residents received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines. Plus, almost all of the state’s 23 counties have their retail and entertainment workers lined up to get vaccine shots. Employees must wear masks, while customers part of small groups have to stay 6 feet apart.
Moreover, Gordon exhorted residents to practice personal responsibility once the state lifts the mask mandate. “I ask all Wyoming citizens to continue to take personal responsibility for their actions and stay diligent as we look ahead to the warmer months and to the safe resumption of our traditional spring and summer activities,” Gordon said in a statement.
South Carolina Gloats
Meanwhile, South Carolina celebrated the fact that the state didn’t need to lift the mask mandate. That’s because they never implemented one even during the pre-vaccine period last year. Governor Henry McMaster took a swipe at Texas and Mississippi for their announcements last week. “Unlike Texas and Mississippi, we cannot lift a mask mandate because we never had one in the first place,” Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted.
“South Carolina took a measured approach and never closed. We gave South Carolinians the freedom to choose for themselves what’s best for their health and family,” the Republican McMaster added. “We never closed. Our reasonable steps of limited, measured, and temporary actions allowed us to combat the virus without crippling our economy,” he added in a video tweet.
Earlier last week, President Joe Biden attacked the governors of Texas and Mississippi after they announced their decision to lift the mask mandate. He said that the decision made by Governors Greg Abbott and Tate Reeves was “Neanderthal thinking” on their part. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden’s comment as a result of Biden’s frustration and exasperation.
Republicans took offense at the statement. Senator Marco Rubio (FL) went to Twitter to deliver some choice words to Biden. He called on the President to “apologize for his insensitive comments” regarding the governors. In addition, he advised Biden to “seek training for his unconscious bias” toward Neanderthals. “President Biden’s use of an old stereotype is hurtful to modern Europeans, Asians & Americans who inherit about 2% of their genes from Neanderthal ancestors,” tweeted Rubio, who linked out to an article in the tweet.
Watch the CBS Denver video where Governor McMaster says Wyoming will lift statewide mask mandate next week:
Do you support Governor McMaster’s decision to lift the state mask mandate in Wyoming? Do you think the other states should follow? Let us know what you think about statewide mask mandates across the country. Share your comments below.