Source: Post and Courier
In South Carolina, Republican Governor Henry McMaster shied away from a statewide mask mandate and instead asked local governments to step up. Not all did, but the contrast between places that did and those that did not is stark, The Post and Courier reports.
“People are realizing that it’s something we need to do,” said Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune, “It makes people feel more safe. It’s becoming more common every day.”
Evidence has continued to support the use of masks in curbing the coronavirus, even as some politicians refute the science. Lt. Governor Dan Forest of North Carolina falsely says that masks are ineffective and repeated his intent to shake as many hands as he can over the course of his campaign against incumbent Governor Roy Cooper.
Governor Cooper mandated masks statewide earlier this summer, and the state has seen a correlation between mask-wearing and a lower number of infections.
“Looking back at it now, from everything we’ve done and seen, I wish we would have done a mandate for the state for everybody early on,” said Bobby Williams, chairman of the S.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association and a restaurant chain owner. “I know (McMaster) keeps saying you can’t enforce it, but it’s just easier if everybody does it together. I think the customers have bought in. Everybody is wearing a mask.”
According to the Post and Courier, the difference between South Carolina areas that enacted a mask mandate and those that did not is striking: Mask mandate areas saw an average drop of 15% in COVID-19 cases while those without mask mandates saw an increase of more than 30%.