State Sen. Livingston: ‘We do not need to get back into closing down Alabama’s economy’
Add another prominent Alabama elected official to the list of those that oppose another shutdown in the name of COVID-19.
Although State Sen. Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) sees the mask mandate and other measures done in the name of mitigating the spread of coronavirus as something that should be “optional,” he also said he recognizes that it is preferred to any shutdown of the state’s businesses.
Livingston told Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5 that his home county of Jackson County in northeastern Alabama was not immune to the similar spikes the rest of the state and country were experiencing and that he was urging people to adhere to taking the right precautions to avoid infection.
“I supposed we’re dealing with it like most of the rest of them are,” Livingston said. “The numbers are rising. We had gotten our numbers down, I guess, in the September time frame — down in the single digits daily. Now, we’re back in the sixties, seventies pretty much every day with new cases. The state the last three days is like 1,600, 1,800 then 2,000 cases. So it is still rising. It is a tough situation, but I think if you do the right thing — just take some precautions and make sure you wash up and try to stay separated if possible. I know some folks don’t want to hear, but the face masks do help. It ought to be optional, but they do help.”
“They’re not into the mandates in the least,” he added. “I totally understand that. It ought to be an option of what we do and how we do it. One thing is for sure: We do not need to get back into closing down Alabama’s economy. The Governor has pretty well stated she wants to keep Alabama open, and I think it is important we keep Alabama open. We’re struggling to get our economy back that has been fairly good throughout all of this, which is remarkable within itself.”
Livingston said the shutdown earlier this year impacted businesses in Scottsboro’s downtown square but seemed to have no impact on the big box stores in his community.
“We had my little community, here in Scottsboro — our courthouse square was just absolutely deserted,” he said. “There were no businesses open. You’d go out to the Home Depot and Walmart — you couldn’t hardly get in their parking lot. I told the Governor on more than one occasion or sent word to her on more than one occasion, our Alabama small businesses can do the same thing these big businesses are doing, and they can do it more effectively than [the big businesses] can do. And we have some good examples of that as some things were allowed to reopen here — Unclaimed Baggage here in Scottsboro did a fantastic job of reopening under some mandates. And our other small businesses did, too. Proud to see those come back and lead by example.”
The Jackson County lawmaker said he did not see Gov. Kay Ivey adopting another “stay at home” order.
“All indications are that is the case,” Livingston added. “That’s the proper thing we can do — we can mask up if we need to. It may be inconvenient, but it may also save your life.”
@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 Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.