(JustPatriots.com)- Last week Los Angeles County announced that it was reimplementing an indoor mask mandate for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people due to a surge in COVID cases. But LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced on Friday that the Sheriff’s office will not enforce the mandate.
Citing the department’s lack of funding, Villanueva said that he won’t “expend our limited resources” to make sure LA County residents are following the order. Instead, he asked for voluntary compliance.
But Villanueva also had strong words for the County Health Department, accusing them of contradicting the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. Villanueva also pointed out that forcing those who are vaccinated or already recovered from COVID-19 to wear masks indoors “is not backed by science.”
While Villanueva acknowledged that the Department of Public Health has the authority to enforce the mask mandate, he encouraged the Health Department to work with both the Board of Supervisors and county law enforcement “to establish mandates that are both achievable and supported by science.”
California had only just reopened the state last month after more than a year locked down. But when coronavirus cases began to rise again – fueled largely by the Delta variant – public health officials announced last Thursday that the indoor mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status, would begin again at midnight Sunday, July 18.
The CDC has said that those who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask indoors, nor are they required to maintain social distancing. Even the LA County Department of Public Health acknowledges that cases among fully vaccinated people are extremely low – only 4,122 confirmed cases out of the more than four million fully vaccinated.
Requiring a return to masking even for the fully vaccinated is also likely to have a negative impact on the White House’s efforts to confront so-called “vaccine hesitancy.” Why bother getting the shot if you’ll still be forced to wear a mask?
Despite the folly of the order, seven other California counties are following LA County’s lead and issuing mask recommendations – including San Francisco and Alameda. Two other counties – Sacramento and Yolo — issued their own indoor mask requirements prior to Los Angeles.