With the notable exception of the White House, Democrats at every level are signaling their support for returning to normal as polls show Americans are weary of coronavirus restrictions, which Republican states have largely done away with.
According to a recent poll by Monmouth University, 70% of Americans say it’s time for the country to move on from the pandemic, and a decreasing number of Americans support COVID-related mandates. President Biden’s approval ratings on handling COVID, once a strength, are also now underwater, with 43% approving and 53% disapproving, according to the poll.
Biden has chosen to follow the lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which still recommends universal masking indoors and in schools.
But with the midterms ahead, many Democrats who once led the way in issuing lockdown orders and mandates over the course of the pandemic are easing restrictions in their states in defiance of the administration.
Numerous blue state governors this week have announced that they are rolling back coronavirus restrictions, and prominent congressional Democrats have also signaled their support for returning to normal.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that her state will end its COVID-19 mandate requiring face coverings in most indoor public settings but will keep it for schools. Illinois announced the same.
Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee said Wednesday his state will end its indoor vaccine-or-mask requirement this week, followed by the school mask mandate in March. Massachusetts, which is generally considered a blue state but has a centrist Republican governor, will end its school mask mandate at the end of the month.
Earlier this week, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware all disclosed plans to join states that have lifted or never had mask requirements for their schools.