Politics

South Carolina Governor Rejects State-Level Mask-Wearing Mandate

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said he will not enact a state-level face mask mandate saying it would not be enforceable but urged voluntary mask-wearing to protect Americas most vulnerable from COVID-19.

McMaster urged South Carolinians at a briefing Friday to wear face masks and practice social distancing amid a spike in new cases in younger people.

“This is a dangerous, deadly disease,” McMaster said, later adding, “For goodness sake, wear your mask, keep that distance.”

At the same time, the Republican governor insisted that enforcing a statewide rule on mask-wearing is not feasible.

“(Its) virtually impossible to fashion a statewide rule on masks,” McMaster said. “These mandates are, in the end, are unenforceable. … Its not the right policy for government. Its not what the government needs to do.”

He said he had no objection to cities adopting their own rules.

“The cities do have some authority. It must be strictly limited and according to the law. But they do have authority,” he said. “Every city is different, and the businesses in those cities are different, the circumstance, the clientele, the people, and if they want to enforce a reasonable, legal limitation, then there is no opposition to that.”

Hair cut
Peter Shamuelov (C) wears a protective mask as he gives a haircut to a customer at Ace of Cuts barbershop, in New York City on June 22, 2020. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

McMasters remarks came as the states health agency reported 1,273 new COVID-19 cases in South Carolina. He said infection rates among the sub-40-year-olds, in particular, was skyrocketing.

“We know that young people can have this disease and not know it,” he said. “And they feel completely healthy yet they are completely infected.”

Younger people can then easily pass it to older people, McMaster said, adding that “anybody from 40 on down especially—particularly those 35 and 30—the rates of infection among those young people who are now getting tested is going up, up, up.”

He insisted reopening the state is necessary to ensure livelihoods but that some restrictions would have to remain in place.

“Reopening our state is highly important, weve got to do it. People cannot live without worRead More From Source

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