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Beshear Says Legislature Owns Pandemic Now

Corinne Boyer

With the end of the special legislative session he called to deal with the current COVID-19 surge, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear Friday told a press conference that the decision not to allow him to mandate masking means the legislature owns the pandemic now.

“If I still had the authority we’d be masking indoors. It works. We’d reduce cases. We’d provide relief to our hospitals. We’d save lives,” Beshear said. “The inability to take this step and all of its ramifications or, even, its devastation, falls squarely on the legislature.”

Beshear said the special session did what he considered good things, like extending the COVID state of emergency and passing an economic development deal. But, Beshear said the decision to pass the masking requirement decision on to school districts was wrong.

“In Texas, you know, a school district that was given the option, and said, ‘Oh no we’re going to do masks optional’, they had two teachers die. And now they’re saying, ‘Ok, we’ll mandate masks’,” explained Beshear. “So are we supposed to say, oh, we’ll just trust everybody when this is what happens.”

Beshear said if school districts don’t have universal masking, kids won’t end up being in school because COVID will spread too much.

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