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Gov. Edwards and AG Landry  are at odds over  COVID-19 mandates | Around The Town

by staff reporter Nora Drenner

Gov. John Bel  Edwards and  state Attorney General  Jeff Landry  are at odds over the  mask mandate and other COVID-19  restrictions  the govern imposed earlier this month. The two have exchanged  letters  stating their respective  opinions.

Landry issued his written opinion that  Edwards’ latest executive order  was unconstitutional  and does not carry the force of law. Additionally,  Landry stated  the mask mandate, closing bars and  restricting crowd  sizes  is too broad  and vague  to be  consistently applied.  And, said  Landry,  the governor does not have the authority  to  ask business owners  to enforce  the mask  mandate.

In his  later letter, Landry  scolded  Gov. Edwards  for failing to prevent protesters for gathering  in large groups citing such action  does not comply with  the social distancing  guidance Edwards  has mandated in his executive  order.

Landry also said  he supported  initial restrictions  in   hopes of  ensuring health facilities  would not become overwhelmed with patients.  “We seemed to have achieved that purpose,“ said  Landry in his letter.  Landry continued by saying the state needed  to work  on  practical, achievable, and  realistic  practices  that can  be performed  long-term as the virus is something  all have to learn to live with.  “You have not been doing so,” said Landry, “and that is regrettable because without  realistic  and achievable goals we will continue to be reactionary.”

 In his  response to Landry, Gov. Edwards said  the constitution has not changed, however,  “the one thing that has changed  is the dire spread  of the virus in Louisiana.”   Additionally, Gov. Edwards commented that every measure he has taken complies  with the White House  guidance.

Furthermore, said Gov. Edwards,  federal public health officials including those  with the U.S.  Centers for Disease Control  agree that closing bars , limiting crowds and requiring  masks are  the best practices  for states  with high infection rates.  As of July 23,  slightly over  two  percent of  Louisiana’s population has  tested  positive since the state’s  first confirmed case on March 9.

Categories: News

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