ATLANTA — Governor Ron DeSantis has been facing calls for weeks to issue a statewide mask order but refuses to put one in place. Even as the state surpasses 300,000 cases in Florida, DeSantis said it's up to local governments to decide.
Meanwhile, Georgia's Republican Governor Brian Kemp is taking a different position.
Let's look at how the debate on masks changed in the last couple of days.
On Tuesday, the CDC, which is located in Georgia, issued its first official recommendation that all Americans should wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"If we could get everybody to wear a mask right now I really do think over the next four to eight weeks we could bring this epidemic under control," said Robert Redfield, the Director of the CDC.
The CDC cited several studies and shared the story of two hairstylists in Missouri who tested positive for the coronavirus. They came in contact with 139 customers but none of the customers who got tested showed signs of infection. The CDC says that's because they were all wearing a mask.
Support for mandatory mask orders depends on where you live. In Florida, Governor DeSantis has refused calls to issue a statewide order. In Georgia, where cases are also spiking, Governor Brian Kemp is now explicitly banning local counties and cities from ordering anyone to wear a mask in public places. 15 local governments in that state already had mask orders.
Altogether there are 25 states with mask orders. That includes Texas, a state whose Republican governor previously resisted a statewide mask order but then put one in place when cases began to rise.
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