The Governor of Alabama Maintains CDC Protocols Amidst Controversy

The governor of Alabama, Kay Ivery, has upheld the state’s mask mandate until April 9th, 2021. Even though the state has voted Republican in every election since 1980, Alabama still decided to maintain precautionary CDC measures.


Mickey Welsh © 2021 / Montgomery Advertiser / Used by permission

Governor Kay Ivey believes that the states which have lifted their mask mandates impulsively are the same states with the most number of current COVID-10 cases. By keeping Alabama’s mask mandate, Ivey hopes to reduce COVID-19 transmission. “I’m simply trying to urge you to use the common sense the Good Lord gave each of us to be smart and considerate of others. We need to get past Easter and hopefully allow more Alabamians to get their first shot before we take a step some other states have taken to remove the mask order altogether and lift other restrictions,” Governor Ivey said.

Over eleven months have passed since we turned to this new chapter in our lives, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

This is a new world to which we were introduced a world where if a day is represented by one page, then the entirety of a chapter induces tension, stress, and fear.

It is only natural that our stamina is consumed through this excruciating interval of time as hope for the pandemic to end, eventually. Additionally, with the rollout of vaccinations increasing and subsequent immunity against Coronavirus becoming more widespread, some people are beginning to neglect the foundational protocols that allow us to further address the pandemic. This is why it did not come as a surprise when nearly half of the governors in the United States have complied with their citizens’ wants and have lifted their mask mandate as well as refused to maintain CDC-recommended protocols, as of April 23rd, 2021. 

This is inherently wrong because trying to rush to the solution could actually place us farther away from attaining it. “I believe that abandoning mask mandates and CDC protocols should be something that we stay away from, as it does contribute to new surges of COVID-19 cases . I don’t believe we should start abandoning those mandates until we have the vast majority of America vaccinated and safe from the Coronavirus,” said Anashe Ufumaka ’24.

Among the states that have already removed mandates for CDC safety protocols, North Dakota has set the precedent as it was the first state to do so on January 18th, 2021. Moreover, in the first week of March 2021, the decision made by Governor Greg Abbott of Texas to lift the mask mandate prompted other states, such as Mississippi and Iowa, to follow suit. “With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” said Governor Abbott. In their minds, if the story has finished, what is the need to ponder over it any longer? 

People who are advocating for the removal of mask mandates nationwide argue that masks are limitations to the rights granted by the First Amendment and they also assert that masks are not needed, since the situation has already been resolved. “I believe the most prominent reason why people want to abolish the mask mandate is that they are tired of social distancing and they want their old life back,” said William Mezitis ’24.

President Biden has rebuked these states that abandoned the protocols of the COVID-19 pandemic by calling their actions as “neanderthal thinking.” The elected officials in these Republican states are trying to fulfill their desires of returning to the life we are used to, but they fail to realize that doing such in an impetuous manner only results in that typical life becoming more difficult to achieve in the near term. “It is simply destructive. While checking the news, I’ve already seen rises in cases across the country. Sure, we do have lots of COVID-19 vaccines that have proven to be effective. However, we still haven’t achieved herd immunity,” said Sirajum Munira ’24.

However, it did come as a surprise when Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama, a Republican state, opted to extend Alabama’s mask mandate until April 9th, 2021, even after several calls and supplications have been made to lift the mask order. Republican Governor Kay Ivey addressed these calls by saying, “Folks, we are not there yet” the fundamental truth that rashness in a situation only worsens the problem.

Even amidst the other Republican governors deciding to lift their mandates, Governor Kay Ivey thinks it is only for the better if the mask mandate is extended for a bit more time, during which more people could get vaccinated.

Furthermore, Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama is known to support the Second Amendment. “I think it’s surprising that she is lifting the mandate at a later date than the other states because typically Republican governors will do anything they can do, in order to go against what Democrats are saying. But this time, they are actually following such orders,” said Donna Celentano ’23.

This is the only right course of action because steadily inching towards resolution is always more fruitful than never attaining one at all. “I applaud the Governor of Alabama and her resistance to lift the mandate. It is vital in order to ensure the complete immunization of the state and the country at large,” said Chase Teichholz ’24.

It is also worthy to note that various other states, such as New York, have kept and further extended their mask protocols. The states that have retained their mask mandates hope to not act in imprudence, which could lead the nation right back to the situation with which we started. “It is essential for individuals to follow the regulations administered and encouraged by health care officials, especially, because it does not harm them in any way, shape, or form. It’s always better to take precautionary measures to prevent any large outbreaks that would lead to more deaths, a decline in business, and would simply destroy any chances of gaining back a sense of normalcy in our lives. Especially in a state like New York where there are always a lot of people who have to travel for many different reasons, we simply need the mandate,” said Tasmia Afrin ’23.

As the debate over mandates amongst the states continues, it would have undoubtedly been far more rational for President Biden to enact a national policy of retaining the CDC protocols. So far, he has demonstrated his agreement with the CDC that safety protocols should be upheld until at least early summer 2021. Additionally, Biden has allowed schools to reopen since he believes that compliance with appropriate protocols will lead to successful in-person learning with minimal risks of contracting the Coronavirus. 

Having promised the American people that they all would be vaccinated and “enjoy July 4th with friends and family,” President Biden did not allow himself a whole lot of wiggle room. He has to ensure that there is no new wave of the Coronavirus, which would impede the pace at which he aims to continue bringing COVID-19 numbers down. 

Nevertheless, we should strive to fight COVID-19 until the very end of the pandemic, through wearing masks and social distancing ourselves, to prevent the situation from returning to its former severity.

“It is simply destructive. While checking the news, I’ve already seen rises in cases across the country. Sure, we do have lots of COVID-19 vaccines that have proven to be effective. However, we still haven’t achieved herd immunity,” said Sirajum Munira ’24.