MONTGOMERY, Al. (AP) – During the COVID-19 epidemic, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivy faced political pressure from angry voters for ordering a mask from his state.
But the 76-year-old governor of the deep red state resisted calls to repeal the demand, as Republican governors across the South either avoided masked mandates altogether or removed them at the end of winter.
“Maybe they do not have the same information as I do. “We want to be very clear and very safe before resigning,” Ivy said, referring to Republicans, including the Alabama Senate deputy governor, who urged him to end the crackdown.
Ivy issued an Alabama mask order in July and announced on Thursday that it would extend it for another five weeks, until April 9.
“We have to go through Easter’s, hoping that more Alabama people will strike their first blow before taking some steps that some other countries have taken to remove the mask altogether or to lift other restrictions. “Fol, we are not there yet, but kindness knows we are getting closer,” Ivy told a news conference on Thursday.
GOP governors from Texas to South Carolina resisted or ended orders for masks throughout the country. Florida, South Carolina և Georgia has never had a government order. Ivy made the announcement just days after Mississippi և Texas resigned, a decision President Biden called “Neanderthal thinking.”
The governor of Mississippi has criticized.
“Mississippi do not need developers. As soon as the numbers go down, they can evaluate their choice րել listen to the experts. “I think I just think we should trust the Americans and not offend them,” Governor Tate Reeves said on Twitter.
Ivy’s decision on social media has caused a mixture of anger and gratitude.
“It’s all the same, you have to go. I do not wear it, who in 2022. “She’s running against you, she got my vote,” a man who used the phrase “Southern Grandma” tweeted.
Someone thanked him and wrote: “You are the only southern governor doing the right thing.” Some questioned whether the five-week extension was long enough.
While extending the order, Ivey went through a political needle. Following medical advice to let people know that a final date is visible. The governor said that wearing a mask after the order was completed would be a personal responsibility.
“Let me be very clear. “I will not keep the mask order in force after April 9,” he said.
At the beginning of the epidemic, the governor closed the dinner of restaurants and beaches, but not of business. All orders removed.
Alabama State Health Officer Scott Harris said he provided the governor with information և options, but he made the final decision.
“I really think he is ready to do it. I understand that this is a very difficult decision for him. “I think the science behind masks is very clear that they prevent disease,” Harris said.
Dr. Michael Saag, an infectious disease specialist who was initially infected with COVID-19 and now treats patients with the disease, said Ivy deserved to stand up to calls from Republicans to take the order.
“I think it was a bold step forward, given the pressure he was under,” he said.
But instead of expiring soon, Saag said it would be better to see how the cargo is loaded next month, or vaccinations, and then make a decision. Comparing the trend of Alabama hospitalization from states that release masks can shed light.
“My only request at the moment is to be open-minded, to look at the data,” Saag said. “Pay attention to where Alabama is compared to where Mississippi and Texas are.”
Ivy, known for her popular posture, questioned the language in December about the cumulative doses of criticism she had received from some of the masks.
“Well, I’m not trying to be Governor Mi-Maun because some people on social media called me. “I’m just trying to persuade you to use the wisdom that a good lord has given each of us to be smart and attentive to others,” he said.