As COVID-19 spreads through the country in what some health experts are calling the third wave, mask-wearing is seeing a shift in politics.
Americans are getting sicker, according to data, and the surge has increasingly caught the eye of governors on both sides of the aisle across the country.
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It’s an indication that mask-wearing is becoming less about party affiliation — Democrat or Republican.
Instead, an increasing amount of governors across the nation are embracing the idea of a mask mandate.
Specifically, four Republican governors have softened their respective stances on mask-wearing as the country prepares to have a holiday season quite unlike any other.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, North Dakota Gov. Gary Burgum, and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice have all publicly acknowledged that the skyrocketing number of cases is cause for tougher restrictions — given that reportedly in countless hotbeds, residents are ignoring mask-wearing advisories entirely.
In other words, more government leaders are opening up to a mandate that Americans wear masks and properly social distance to curb the spread of a virus that has infected more than 11 million citizens and killed nearly 250,000.
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Utah’s Gov. Herbert in the past said that while he encouraged mask-wearing, he considered it divisive.
Now he’s acknowledged that the coronavirus is a growing issue unable to be ignored — just ask the health care workers in the state who claim that resources are dwindling.
Fox 13 reported a local Salt Lake City incident where a woman died of a heart attack because she was unable to be seen in the intensive care unit where it was filled to the brim with suffering COVID-19 patients. Reportedly 87 percent of ICUs statewide are full.
Gov. Reynolds seemed to suggest that she would never mandate mask wearing in the Hawkeye State, but her tune has since changed dramatically.
“It’s up to all of us so that the worst-case scenarios I just described don’t become reality,” she said Monday.
All things considered, the shift in coronavirus policy — while difficult on the freedoms of Americans, — can hopefully provide a way to lowering the cases until a vaccine is produced, and the virus is ultimately defeated.
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Democrat or Republican, none of us want to see more Americans dying from this debilitating pandemic.
The Horn editorial team