The North Dakota House of Representatives approved a bill Monday that would make future mask mandates illegal.
The herald of Grand Forks reported that the bill passed 50-44. Then he goes to the state Senate.
The bill comes three months after North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) imposed a statewide masquerade mandate, though the governor himself had previously expressed skepticism about such a move.
The bill’s sponsor, State Representative Jeff Hoverson (R), called the mask mandates “diabolical nonsense,” characterizing them as a conspiracy led by “wealthy and unelected bureaucrats who are stealing our freedoms and perpetuating lies,” it reported. the Herald.
The number of COVID-19 cases decreased after Burgum’s mask mandate. The Herald also notes that health experts have attributed the drop to a combination of factors, including restrictions on businesses and increased social distancing.
According to the newspaper, several Republican supporters of the state bill said they believe wearing masks does nothing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Multiple health experts, including the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciPublix Offers Employees Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine 5 Store Gift Card Sunday Shows: COVID-19 Dominates As Grim Milestone Approaches Fauci: ‘Devastating’ 500,000 Coronavirus Death Milestone MORE, have stated that the use of masks is essential to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
The newspaper noted that masks are required in both houses of the state legislature. However, the rule is not strictly enforced, and House Speaker Kim Koppelman noted that the rule may be re-examined in the coming weeks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a study that found that wearing a cloth mask over a medical mask can significantly decrease the spread of COVID-19.
According to CDC data, North Dakota has confirmed more than 94,000 coronavirus cases and 1,438 deaths since the pandemic began nearly a year ago.