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Nebraska Gov. Ricketts Financially Punishing Counties That Require Masks

Nebraska Gov. Ricketts Financially Punishing Counties That Require Masks

The CDC and the numerous Doctors have been quite clear about face masks and COVID-19. According to a recent study, 100% mask compliance would essentially crush the possibility of a 2nd or 3rd coronavirus wave.

MIKE THEILER/AFP via Getty Images

Still, many GOP governors have fought against policies that would make masks required in their states. No one has taken it quite as far as Pete Ricketts. The Oklahoma World Herald is reporting that Ricketts has threatened to withhold COVID aid money from all counties that enforce a mask law.

A spokesperson for the Governor, Taylor Gage, told reporters, “The governor encourages people to wear a mask, but does not believe that failure to wear a mask should be the basis for denying taxpayers’ services.”

Gage continued, “Counties are not prohibited from requiring masks, but if they want CARES Act money, they have to be fully open, and that means they cannot deny service for not wearing a mask.”

The state’s Dakota County, which contains a Tyson processing plant, has been hit especially hard by COVID-19.

The County’s Assessor, Jeff Curry, says Rickett’s message is, “you better do what I want you to do. It sure would have been nice to be able to sit down with our health director and County Board and have a conversation about what to do, without being mandated to do it.”

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