Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced he will soon file a lawsuit against the city of St. Louis over its masking mandate, which went into effect on Monday.
Last week, St. Louis officials said that people aged 5 and older will have to wear masks—regardless of vaccination status—indoors. Wearing masks outdoors will be encouraged, especially in group settings, according to a news release from city officials.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises unvaccinated people to wear masks in public but states that vaccinated people don’t need to wear them in most circumstances. People are still required to wear masks on public transportation.
“We’ve lost more than 500 St. Louisans to COVID-19, and if our region doesn’t work together to protect one another, we could see spikes that overwhelm our hospital and public health systems,” Dr. Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the City of St. Louis, said on July 23.
And Dr. Faisal Khan, the acting director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, previously said that vaccines as the “best way” to stop COVID-19. But last week, he said a masking mandate is necessary.
“We need everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear masks in crowded indoor settings,” he said.
After the announcement, Schmitt, a Republican running for Senate, wrote on Twitter that he’s planning to file a lawsuit against the city. He told Fox News on Monday that “people are tired of this,” referring to mask mandates, arguing that “it’s about control.”
“I’m going to stick up for the people in my state who have had enough,” he said.
Responding to his proposed lawsuit, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, a Democrat, characterized Schmitt’s legal challenge as frivolous.
“Our top priority is protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of the people of St. Louis City and County,” she wrote on Twitter over the past weekend. “Nobody is surprised that the Attorney General plans to file yet another frivolous lawsuit to serve his own political ambitions.”
St. Louis County Councilmen Tim Fitch and Mark Harder also oppose the mask mandate, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Both told the paper they may ask the County Council to rescind the new mandate.
Other than St. Louis, Los Angeles recently re-imposed a mask mandate for unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, told the New York Times that she might re-impose a mask requirement due to rising COVID-19 cases.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.