Ainsworth: ‘Masks should be voluntary, not mandatory’
Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth is not in favor of extending Alabama’s statewide mask mandate.
The mask order, instituted by Governor Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, has been in place since July 15.
With the order currently set to expire on Friday, Ivey and Harris will host a press conference Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. CT. It is expected that Ivey will again extend the order, as she has hinted at doing so.
However, if Ainsworth were governor, it appears he would go in a different direction.
During Tuesday night’s presidential debate, Ainsworth tweeted, “Masks should be voluntary, not mandatory.”
Alabama’s lieutenant governor also stressed his opposition to economic shutdowns, which Trump during the debate said Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would support.
“Shutdowns don’t work. People want their schools open, their businesses operating, and their jobs protected,” Ainsworth said. “We have to Make America Great Again.”
“Wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing are among the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19, and I have tried to set a public example in those regards,” he has advised.
“Issuing a statewide face mask mandate, however, is an overstep that infringes upon the property rights of business owners and the ability of individuals to make their own health decisions,” Ainsworth remarked in July. “In addition, it imposes a one-size-fits-all, big government requirement on counties that currently have low to moderate infection rates and little need for such a mandate.”
“Masks should be worn to combat further outbreaks, and while I admire Gov. Ivey’s leadership and her on-going efforts, I also believe a statewide order is the wrong way to go about encouraging their use,” he added.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn