[NFA] Alabama's governor on Thursday extended for another month an order mandating residents to wear face masks to protect against COVID-19, breaking with Mississippi and Texas as the issue again becomes the focus of political debate.
[ALABAMA GOVERNOR KAY IVEY] “Folks, we're not there yet, but goodness knows we're getting closer.” Heeding the advice of public health experts and breaking with decisions of southern neighbors Mississippi and Texas, Alabama governor Kay Ivey on Thursday extended her state’s mask mandate for another month.
“We need to get past Easter, and allow more residents to get their first vaccine shot, before we take a step that some other states have taken to remove the mask order altogether and lift the restrictions." The extension of Alabama’s mask mandate stands in contrast to decisions this week in Texas and Mississippi to end the mask mandate, and in Texas open businesses 100 percent.
GREG ABBOTT] "It is now time to open Texas 100-percent." The relaxing of rules was blasted by the nation's top health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying (quote) “Now is not the time for states to pull back.” At the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden this week said it was "Neanderthal thinking": “I think it is a big mistake I hope everyone realize by now these masks make a difference.
(flash) The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everyone is fine to take off your mask and forget it.
It still matters." The contrasting moves on masks in the three Republican-led Southern states comes at a time when the number of new coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths had been sharply falling in the United States after a surge that followed the holiday season.
Though all three - Texas, Mississippi and Alabama - are near the bottom of the list of states in administering vaccines.
While the masks mandates go away in Texas and Mississippi in the coming days, Alabama’s will last until April 9th.
After that, the governor says it will be a matter of "personal responsibility."