“This is not political,” Alabama lawmakers on mask mandate controversy


DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — For over a year now, the subject of mask mandates has been sparking controversy across the nation, and now local residents are turning to lawmakers to see if this was the right move.

“We don’t need a mask mandate we don’t need any kind of mandate from the state level,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said.

With her clear decision, Alabama State Senator Donnie Chesteen supports Ivey because he feels people don’t like authority.

“As tough as this situation is right now with this pandemic and COVID, people do not like being told what to do,” Chesteen said.

With hospitalizations surging, and people dying every day from the virus, he believes it’s now up to residents.

“People know the consequences of this virus and the vaccines, that’s where we’re leaving it in the hands of individuals,” Chesteen said.

Meanwhile, Alabama Representative Chris England believes it’s time for a mandate. According to him, it should be left up to state lawmakers.

“I think it’s time for our governor and our elected leaders to revisit those mandates and determine if public safety is more important than the convivence of a political message,” England said.

However, Chesteen said this is not a political agenda being pushed. Social media theories have made it political, he said, which has caused confusion among residents.

“We politicized this until people don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong,” Chesteen said.

Instead, he says this is a healthcare issue. While lawmakers differ on this decision, both encourage masks, vaccines, and self-responsibility.

“Put it in their hands rather than, you know, having politicians tell you what you should and shouldn’t do,” Chesteen said.

“Do whatever’s necessary to do more to encourage personal responsibility and taking care of yourself and your family,” England said.

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