Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin won’t be mandating that Americans mask up or lock down to fight the COVID-19 pandemic any time soon, The Daily Signal has learned.
Some schools, hospitals, and businesses have begun encouraging Americans to wear masks again amid a rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, sparking fears that lawmakers will once again institute lockdown measures and mask mandates.
Youngkin’s office told The Daily Signal on Thursday that such measures won’t be happening in the state, where the governor previously has banned schools from mandating masks.
“Governor Youngkin has been consistent since the beginning of his administration, if you want to wear a mask, wear a mask, but in Virginia you get to choose,” spokesman Christian Martinez said.
He added: “On Inauguration Day, Governor Glenn Youngkin declared Virginia open for business, the governor has no plans to change that.”
On Tuesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Mandy Cohen said that up to 10,000 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 per week in the United States. Cohen noted that this number is significantly lower than the comparative figures for August 2022, at the pandemic’s highest point, when there were 40,000 hospitalizations a week.
“We’re in a much different and better place in August of 2023,” she said. “We have stronger immunity and tools to protect ourselves, we have vaccines, at-home tests, effective treatments, and commonsense strategies like washing your hands and staying away from people when you’re sick.”
The Daily Signal also asked 2024 presidential candidates whether they would support future mask mandates or lockdowns. None of the 2024 hopefuls that The Daily Signal spoke with supported any such restrictions.
“No mask mandates,” candidate Vivek Ramaswamy told The Daily Signal on Thursday. “No vaccine mandates. No lockdown ever again.”
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