Source: Facing South

States across the South are facing surges in coronavirus cases as the pandemic continues, Facing South reports. Governors in neighboring states are now following the lead of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper in mandating masks.

Experts agree that masks are a key component of combatting the coronavirus. Governor Cooper has relied on the advice of public health experts like NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. in fighting the virus. Facing South writes that, “Medical experts broadly agree that masks are key to fighting the spread of COVID-19, and that even homemade masks, worn properly, can significantly reduce the aerosol droplets that are thought to spread the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week calling for universal masking.”

Mask mandates were somehow politicized at first, but now the Trump Administration has endorsed masks as a way to combat the virus and fellow Republicans are making an about-face. Republican Governors Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Kay Ivey of Alabama both have announced statewide mask mandates. 

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has echoed the wrongheaded approach that neighboring governors are now reversing. Forest falsely claimed that masks were ineffective in slowing the spread of the virus. He also continues to hold in-person fundraising events where patrons are packed tightly together and few if any wear face coverings.

Neighboring governors are coming around now to what Governor Cooper knew weeks ago: the megaphone wielded by state executives can go a long way in changing attitudes and behaviors. 
Read the full story on how other governors are following Governor Cooper’s lead in Facing South.