House Republicans Question if the Mills Administration has a Plan to End the Outdoor Mask Mandate

House Republicans Question if the Mills Administration has a Plan to End the Outdoor Mask Mandate

New Hampshire and 12 other states have ended their mask mandates

STATE HOUSE/REMOTELY – Maine House Republicans have observed 13 states, including New Hampshire, end their mask mandates. Dr. Fauci has indicated that the CDC and Biden Administration is likely to update the mask mandate saying, “the risk for people engaging in outdoor activities is ‘minuscule,’” and “what the country is going to be hearing soon is updated guidance from the CDC.” 

Maine House Republicans are now calling on the Governor and Dr. Shah to provide the timetable and scientific metrics being used for guidance pertaining to outdoor mask requirements as well as other restrictions currently in place. House Republicans are renewing their request for greater transparency from the Administration and Center for Disease Control (CDC).  The public should be informed on what benchmarks need to be met in order to lift the outdoor mask mandate and if the Biden Administration moves away from mandating masks while outside, will Governor Mills and Dr. Shah follow suit? 

“With 55% of Maine’s eligible population having received a first vaccine dose, more than 83% of people 70 and over fully vaccinated, Mainers have stepped up to get their shots at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country,” said House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham. “This has been the result of personal choice – not government mandates. Our caucus is asking Governor Mills and her administration to share with the public what benchmarks they believe need to be met in order to safely lift the outdoor mask mandate, other restrictions, and end her state of emergency.”

“Maine has been in a state of emergency since March of 2020 and the Governor just issued her fourteenth emergency order extension,” said Assistant House Republican Leader Joel Stetkis (R-Canaan). “Hospitalization data provided to the public through the media is skewed to create an impression young people are a problem by grouping together everyone under 50. How does this make sense when no person in Maine under 20 has died with COVID-19 and hospitalizations for people under 30 are rare? Every death is tragic, but this assessment of risk is far more narrow than what anyone would have imagined over a year ago when this all began. We need to follow the science.”

Current rates do not put our hospitals at risk of overflowing.  Testing is widely available and Maine’s timetable for vaccinations is months ahead of schedule. House Republicans acknowledge that the threat is not completely gone, but Mainers have done their part to mitigate that threat and proven themselves time and time again. The public release of the scientifically measurable goals the Governor and her administration are using to evaluate restrictions is long overdue and should be shared with the people of Maine.

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