According to a new report, Republican-led states have less power to enact COVID safety protocols.
According to a research published Wednesday by Kaiser Health News, Republican lawmakers in 26 states have passed legislation to permanently limit the capacity of state and local governments to impose COVID-19 safety standards such as mask and vaccine mandates.
All 50 states have introduced such measures, according to the analysis, which looked at hundreds of legislative acts. Around 17 states out of the 26 that passed the bills outlawed vaccine passports or mandates, while 16 states limited public health officials’ ability to impose masks, quarantines, or isolation. Five states have approved executive orders restricting the use of masks.
“Depending on the extremeness of the law and restricting of authority, we might see more people sick, harmed, hospitalized, or even die,” Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, told the Associated Press.
These COVID safety limits come as the country is experiencing a major increase in coronavirus cases, with numbers approaching levels not seen since January. There were about 160,000 new cases on Tuesday.
Republican politicians, on the other hand, claim that these policies are a way for them to “stand up for freedom.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vowed on Tuesday to slap a $5,000 charge on businesses that force their employees to be vaccinated.
DeSantis stated, “This is political; it’s about utilizing government authority to control.” “We’re going to keep these jobs, keep these livelihoods, and keep these people safe.”
As fall classes begin, many of these prohibitions and fines target public schools, prohibiting them from requiring kids to wear masks.
Following the list of bills prohibiting COVID safety, the Department of Education has launched an investigation into states that are blocking school mask requirements, claiming that they are “preventing school districts in the state from considering or meeting the needs of students with disabilities.” These states include Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah.
“It’s inexcusable that state officials prioritize politics over the health and education of the youngsters they swore to protect. In August, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stated, “The department will fight to defend every student’s right to access in-person learning securely, as well as local educators’ rights to put in place regulations that allow all students to return to the classroom full-time in-person safety this fall.”
According to the Associated Press, public health experts and officials are frustrated by the idea that they are to blame for the virus’s spread.
“It’s like having your own. Brief News from Washington Newsday.