Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said Sunday face mask mandates should be strictly the domain of local officials — and not governors or the White House.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Cassidy pushed back at the stance of Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has issued an executive order aimed at blocking school boards from requiring students to wear masks.
“I’m a conservative,” said Cassidy, who is also a medical doctor. “You govern best when you govern closest to the people being governed,” he asserted.
According to Cassidy, if a hospital’s ICU is full “ and people at the local schools see they've got to make sure they stay open because otherwise children will miss out for another year of school and they put in policies, then the local official should be listened to.”
“That is a conservative principle,” Cassidy said.
“I do disagree with Governor DeSantis,” he declared. “Local officials should have control here. I don't want top-down from Washington, D.C. I don't want top-down from a governor's office,” except in some cases of national defense and “things like that.”
“But if my hospitals are full, the vaccination rate is low and infection rate is going crazy, local officials should be allowed to make those decisions,” he said.
In Louisiana, where there’s also a resurgence of COVID-19 due to the delta variant, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards reinstated a statewide mask mandate indoors for all people age 5 and older, "regardless of vaccination status," until at least Sept. 1.
The return to mandatory masking comes, according to the governor’s office as "hospitalizations continue to rise across Louisiana, threatening the ability of Louisiana's hospitals to deliver care during this fourth surge of COVID."
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