Thirty-three Louisiana lawmakers call for governor to end mask mandate, reopen state

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– More than 30 Louisiana lawmakers are calling for Governor Edwards to end the mask mandate and ​drop COVID-19 restrictions.

Thirty-three Republican legislators sent a letter to the governor saying in part, “With access to vaccinations on the rise, hospitalizations on the decline, and a variety of better treatment options, now is time to end the mandates.”

Their biggest concern is the unprecedented loss for local businesses.

“Some of these folks are on the last thread of their surviving this pandemic,” State Representative Rick Edmonds said.

Edmonds is leading this fight and says he was influenced by the governors of Texas and Mississippi who reopened both states this week.

“We have a commitment to the citizens of Louisiana to get them back to work, get them back to school, get them back at church, get them back at their community activities,” Edmonds said.

A spokesperson for the governor released a statement saying, “Gov. Edwards hasn’t read the letter, but he has consistently relied on recommendations from the CDC, LDH, and other medical experts- none of whom have recommended removing the mask mandate.”

State Representative Ted James (D) says removing the mask mandate would be dangerous.

“We still have numerous people in our community impacted, and although the vaccine has started to roll out, we know we are nowhere near getting the vaccine to [all] people in the community,” James said.

Among the nearly 10,000 residents who died from the virus were congressman-elect Luke Letlow and former State Representative and mayoral runner-up, Steve Carter. James says reopening the state is insulting.

“This is not how you honor their lives by prematurely putting other lives at risk.”

This isn’t the first time Edwards has had to battle his republican legislature. Months ago, Edwards sued the Louisiana House of Representatives to defend the coronavirus rules they were attempting to throw out.


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