Amid a slight uptick in Covid-19 cases, fears are growing about the possibility of renewed lockdowns and mask mandates. While it’s true the federal government hasn’t been pushing these policies, the same can’t be said on the local level.
According to Newsweek, on Thursday three government buildings in Dallas County, Alabama, home to Selma, brought back indoor masking, citing recent Covid cases. This comes as several colleges and a number of hospitals reinstated mask mandates.
It’s a development that’s shaping the conversation in the GOP primary race and could have effects beyond. Last week, former President Donald Trump released a scathing video, attacking what he called the “Covid Tyrants.”
But perhaps the conservative candidate making the most of the narrative shift is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has long touted his record of keeping his state open in the midst of the pandemic.
At a press conference in Jacksonville Thursday, DeSantis pointed the finger at Trump as the creator of Covid lockdowns. He also revealed that the Trump administration was pushing lockdowns as late as January 2021.
The Washington Examiner is confirming DeSantis’ claims. The Examiner reported on a 2021 White House letter calling for “masking, physical distancing, and avoiding family gatherings” in the state of Florida.
It’s unclear if Americans will put up with mask mandates if they do make a return. A Yahoo! News/YouGov poll from last month shows only 12% of Americans still mask up when leaving the home – down from 27% in January.