Ainsworth: My opposition against a mask mandate ‘is the same one Gov. Ivey held just a week ago’ — ‘Her position changed, not mine’
Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth earlier this week came out against a statewide mask mandate that went into effect on Thursday. It was announced by Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday in the name of mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Almost immediately following that announcement, Ainsworth put out a statement expressing his opposition.
During an interview with Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Ainsworth elaborated on his position and noted that his opposition was the same as Ivey’s just a week ago.
Ainsworth argued the best path forward for masks as they pertain to the coronavirus was to leave the decisions up to local governments.
“My position against the statewide mask mandate today is the same one Governor Ivey held just a week ago,” he said. “Her position changed, not mine. A week ago, basically to quote her, ‘Each area of the state is unique and is working with their own set of data specific to their own town or city,’ which is why she said at the time she supports the decision of local governments or businesses to require masks to be worn.”
“And so, what I want you and your listeners to realize is there was a lot of time and effort from the Department of Public Health to put together this new color-coded system by the counties that tied in with this strategy,” Ainsworth continued. “And basically it is to allow each county to be able to make its own decisions and cities to be able to make its own decisions based on the data. And the idea is, we have some counties — for instance, one next to me, Blount County. And there are some next to y’all that are green, which means there is a decrease in disease transmission and that county is doing well if they’re in the green. The county that I live in, in Marshall is yellow, which is the next color code up. There is more risk there, and there is orange then red. But the idea is to do that for the schools as well as the local officials, and I’m a believer in local control and local know best, and not in favor of a one-size-fits-all mandate from the state of Alabama. I do not think it is a good idea.”
The lieutenant governor maintained he was for masks as “the right thing to do,” but was skeptical over their effectiveness.
“I do think wearing a mask is the right thing to do,” Ainsworth added. “I think that it is going to help prevent the spread of the disease. But I am not in favor of mandating it. I would rather make sure we educate people about why it makes sense and try to encourage people.”
“And I would say that if you look at cities that have put mandates in so far, I don’t think they’ve seen the dropoff they thought they were going to see,” he continued. “Now, that not saying anything negative about masks, but I do think it says something about mandates. People are going to, in my opinion, wear them or they’re not. We need to educate people as to why they need to wear them. I don’t know if you’re going to force people into doing something they don’t want to do.”
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.