Idaho’s lieutenant governor banned face mask mandates while the governor was out of town
Idaho’s Republican Gov. Brad Little left Idaho. So Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin banned face masks
So here’s a story — Idaho’s Republican Gov. Brad Little left Idaho on Thursday. When he did, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who is running for governor in the next election, decided to ban mask requirements and mandates.
- Yes. You read that right.
Why did Idaho ban face mask mandates?
- The executive order will ban the state and local jurisdictions — like school districts — from adding mask mandates.
Today, as acting Governor of the State of Idaho, I signed an Executive Order to protect the rights and liberties of individuals and businesses by prohibiting the state and its political subdivisions — including public schools — from imposing mask mandates in our state. #idpol pic.twitter.com/Nmb6DX9v6X— Janice McGeachin (@JaniceMcGeachin) May 27, 2021
Did Gov. Little respond
The governor’s office told KTVB of Boise that McGeachin did not tell Gov. Little about the executive order at the time.
- “Idahoans value local control and the local approach to addressing important issues,” Little’s office said in a statement, according to NBC News. “An expanded statement from the Governor’s Office on the Lt. Governor’s executive order will be made available after a more thorough review of this executive action.”
Idaho has never had a mask mandate, for the record. However, some states and towns have had their own mask requirements. Businesses — especially nationwide chains like Target — could also require masks.
Idaho vs. face masks
Idaho has had quite a negative reaction to face masks, historically. For example, anti-maskers encouraged children to burn face masks outside the Idaho Capitol in Boise, Idaho, back in March of this year, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.
- Republican state Reps. Dorothy Moon and Heather Scott supported the rallies, too, according to The Washington Post.
But Little said back in November 2020 that Idaho didn’t do enough to stop a spike in cases from hitting the state.
- “We’ve come to the profound conclusion that what we’ve been doing hasn’t been working,” he said.