Focusing on small gatherings while thousands safely frequent big-box stores strains credibility
JOINT STATEMENT ON TODAY’S EXECUTIVE ORDER-
STATEHOUSE/REMOTELY – Legislative Republicans believe that Governor Mills latest Executive Order is punitive, makes little scientific sense and will hurt Maine citizens already struggling to adhere to ever increasing mandates with little to show for it.
“I really hope the Governor knows what she is doing,” said Senate Republican Leader Jeff Timberlake (R-Androscoggin). “I am concerned how people react, at least in rural Maine about this. I am scared to death for the average people who are running little general stores, often alone, who must now confront customers who may already be stressed out over the pandemic when they walk in the door.”
“Public compliance with nine months of ever increasing mandates is at its highest and yet we are no longer realizing intended results,” said House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham (R-Oxford). “There is great concern with having small business workers, in some cases teenagers, charged with ensuring compliance with executive orders. Placing such a burden on employees who are not trained in this area and forcing them into situations of conflict can compromise an individuals mental health and safety. Again, encouraging citizens to call law enforcement officers when they see someone not wearing a mask, or too many individuals in a private home places, puts strain on our emergency services and is an overreach by those speaking for this administration.
“I question if it is deemed safe for the public to safely shop in big-box stores for nine months, why are we now being told small gatherings present a problem? If it is safe for a couple to dine in an establishment, which is already complying with reduced seating and other required protocols, what changes for that same couple at 9 pm? Those responsible for using evidence-based, scientific data to support these decisions should focus less on their celebrity status and more on the credibility of these arbitrary decisions in the face of growing public mistrust and discontent.”