In A Flash

Sen. Bill Cassidy encourages Louisianians to wear masks and keep their distance

By: - July 10, 2020 11:07 am

WASHINGTON, DC – In this file photo from June 19, 2019, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) speaks during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on suicide among veterans. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy posted a COVID-19 update on his campaign website Friday that calls for Louisianians to wear masks to help slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus and decrease the number of people getting sick. Cassidy is a gastroenterologist who worked and taught at the charity hospital in Baton Rouge and co-founded a clinic to treat the uninsured.

“After months of social distancing and increased safety measures across Louisiana, we were able to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 across our state,” Cassidy writes. “And thanks to everyone doing their part throughout this time, we were able to begin the process of reopening our economy.”

But things have gotten worse for Louisiana and much of the South over the last month. “That’s why now more than ever, it’s critical that we each continue to do our part, keep a safe distance from one another, and wear a mask when out in public,” Cassidy writes. “Together we can help to slow the spread of the virus once again and protect the health of our communities.”

Notably, Cassidy’s statement does not take a position on face-mask mandates.

Whether or not the public should be made to wear masks has generally divided Democrats and Republicans, with Democrats for and Republicans against. But more and more Republicans have begun voicing the opinion that masks are needed to slow down the new spike in cases. Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott issued a mask mandate for most of Texas last week, and Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi issued a mandate for 13 counties Thursday.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has decided against issuing such an order. He has previously said that he doesn’t believe such an order is the best strategy to “win compliance” from residents.

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