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Tipsheet

Another Democratic Governor Ditches Mask Mandates

AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes, File

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, ended the state’s mask mandate on Thursday. This came after a slew of Democratic governors rolled back mask mandates this week.

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Sisolak made the announcement in a lengthy thread on Twitter, where he stated that with “all of these updates and tools we have now,” it is now the time to end mask mandates. 

“While masks will no longer be required in public places, there are locations where you may still be asked to wear a mask,” he added. Masks are still federally mandated in airports, on airplanes, public transportation buses and school buses.

As Rebecca covered, other liberal states that announced the end to mask mandates this week include California and New York. However, both states are maintaining mask mandates in schools. Other states that rolled back their mask mandates include Oregon, Delaware, New Jersey, and Connecticut. 

Katie reported this week that the reason behind the Democrats’ sudden 180 degree change on masks came after focus groups and polling showed voters “shared frustrations over public health measures” and that there was “a deep desire to return to some sense of normalcy.”

Focus groups and polling convened by Democrats has them changing their policies. Given Murphy nearly lost his gubernatorial race in the fall to a Republican, he's taking advantage of the turning tide and attempting to save his political future. 

'Arranging a series of focus groups across the state to see what they had missed, Mr. Murphy’s advisers were struck by the findings: Across the board, voters shared frustrations over public health measures, a sense of pessimism about the future and a deep desire to return to some sense of normalcy,' the New York Times reports. 'Even Democratic voters, they agreed, were wearying of the toughest restrictions, growing increasingly impatient with mandates and feeling ready to live with the risk that remained...While the specific steps vary by state, the message was the same: It’s time to move on.'

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This week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to the wave of Democratic governors rolling back mask mandates. In a press briefing, she said “we [the Biden administration] understand where the emotions of the country are” and that “people are tired of masks.” Psaki quickly changed her tone and added “if you look at the polling, though, there is also a huge chunk of people who still want masks.”

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