Audio: Governor Parson reiterates opposition to statewide mask mandate; promotes “Show Me You Care” campaign

Missouri Governor Mike Parson

Missouri’s governor has been using stops this week to tout a program called the “Show Me You Care” campaign, which emphasizes the need for you to wear a mask, practice good hygiene, and to social distance.

Governor Mike Parson says everyone must step up to stop the spread of COVID.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) says there have been 30,049 new COVID cases in the past week, an average of 4,293 cases per day. There have also been 62 new deaths during that timeframe.

Missourinet spoke to Governor Parson Tuesday after he spoke at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $23 million terminal at Columbia Regional Airport (COU). The governor is emphasizing the need for everyone to “step up” to battle COVID.

“I think everybody has got a little virus fatigue over nine months, but the reality of it, it’s a different time today,” Parson says. “We’re seeing these cases go at a pretty fast pace here. Everybody has got to do their part.”

The governor is also emphasizing the importance of washing your hands and avoiding large gatherings. He also says rural Missouri must step up, saying that the increasing COVID numbers statewide are concerning.

DHSS says there are currently 2,453 COVID patients in Missouri hospitals, including 582 in the ICU and 298 on ventilators.

Governor Parson says the next 30 to 60 days is crucial. Missourinet asked the governor on Tuesday about the Missouri Hospital Association’s renewed call for him to issue a statewide mask mandate.

“From day one I’ve recommended that people wear a mask, but I’m not going to mandate that for the state of Missouri. I’ve answered that question numerous times and that hasn’t changed any. People … again, I’m a fan of local control. I think that’s where it needs to be,” says Parson.

The governor has maintained that position throughout the pandemic, saying that he’s not anti-mask but is anti-mandate.

State Rep. Martha Stevens, D-Columbia, the ranking Democrat on the House Special Committee on Aging, called for a statewide mask mandate again on Wednesday.

“Our frontline workers and communities are looking for leadership as things get worse and worse across Missouri,” Representative Stevens tweeted.

Governor Parson and DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams will brief Capitol reporters on Thursday morning at 9 in Jefferson City.

Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with Missouri Governor Mike Parson, which was recorded on November 17, 2020, at Columbia Regional Airport:

 

Brian Hauswirth

About Brian Hauswirth

Brian Hauswirth began as Missourinet news director in July 2016. He anchors daily newscasts, simulcasts and special reports from the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, where he primarily covers the Missouri House and numerous legislative committee hearings.