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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Mo. Atty. Gen. Promises Lawsuit as St. Louis Goes Rogue, Imposes Mask Mandate

"If the last six months have taught us anything it’s that when it comes to expansive, authoritative executive action we have to fight back with everything we’ve got—all the time."

(Headline USA) Just when Americans thought they were finally done with mask mandates, it seems they are back in action.

One Republican attorney general, though, is fighting back.

St. Louis leaders experienced backlash after announcing Friday a new mask mandate while indoors, even for children and even for the vaccinated.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and County Executive Sam Page announced the policy, adding that even wearing masks outdoors will be “strongly encouraged.”

In response, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican and a candidate for U.S. Senate, said he would file a lawsuit to stop the new rule.

“The citizens of St. Louis and St. Louis County are not subjects — they are free people,” Schmitt said. “If the last six months have taught us anything it’s that when it comes to expansive, authoritative executive action we have to fight back with everything we’ve got—all the time. Wherever we see it — fight the fight.”

“Our freedoms are on the line,” he added.

St. Louis local leaders, though, have defended their decision.

“We’ve lost more than 500 St. Louisans to COVID-19, and if our region doesn’t work together to protect one another, we could see spikes that overwhelm our hospital and public health systems,” said Dr. Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the City of St. Louis. “The City and County health departments are taking this joint step to save lives, make sure hospitals can provide the care residents rely on, and protect our children so they can enjoy a full range of educational opportunities this year. Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance when possible, and most importantly, get vaccinated. Vaccines remain one of the best methods to prevent severe complications and death from the virus.”

Now, all that remain is the court battle, which could be one of many around the country as Americans push back against a second wave of mandates and possibly even shutdowns.

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