Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been encouraging the residents of the city to begin to wear masks indoors again, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated, while trying to stay away from a full mask mandate.
“We want to strongly recommend that people wear a mask in indoor settings even if you’re vaccinated,” de Blasio said during a recent briefing he held. “Now this is particularly true, of course, if you might be around anyone unvaccinated.”
“Vaccines are the number one most powerful weapon against COVID by far,” the mayor said. “But we also clearly believe there’s a place for masks. Everything thing we do is vaccine-centric. The entire strategy is around vaccines, but of course, we want to make sure people are using masks in all the right way.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio: "We want to strongly recommend that people wear masks in indoor settings." pic.twitter.com/b02YDBDtZj
— The Hill (@thehill) August 2, 2021
City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said the decision came after new information revealed the delta variant “can spread even more easily than previously thought.”
“While vaccination may be ‘for the win,’ we need to keep putting points on the board against the virus, and that’s where masks come in,” Chokshi went on to say.
Some lawmakers around the country have pushed back against a potential mask mandate after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on masking last week for vaccinated individuals. The announcement caused widespread confusion across the country.
Eli Klein, the owner of an art gallery recently stated he’s against a mask mandate imposed by the city, a position he made clear during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” program.
Program host John Berman said, “You really don’t want to go back to masks indoors in your gallery.”
Klein replied by saying, “it’s not just about my gallery. It’s about New York City generally. If we are subject to sweeping mask mandates now in the summer, you know, let’s be honest … we don’t know when COVID levels will ever be lower than they are now in New York City and that could put us on a slippery slope to all kinds of the same restrictions that we were subject to last year.”
“Things like micro-cluster targeting and capacity limits and business shutdowns. It’s not just a mask,” he continued, adding,
“None of us have a problem just putting on a mask. It’s really much more than that. It’s a blueprint for indefinite government restrictions in New York. We’ve had vaccines available for everyone [ages twelve and up] for many months and there has to be an endgame. There has to be an off-ramp.”
Not all folks in positions of leadership agree with mask mandates. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed an executive order last week that focused on allowing parents to make the decision about whether or not their kids wear masks to school.