Gov. Polis refused to rule out another statewide mask mandate on the heels of new CDC guidance that recommends masking for vaccinated people including students and teachers in indoor settings.
When asked by KOA directly about the possibility of another mask mandate this morning, Polis employed the time-honored Democrat strategy of not answering the reporter’s actual question, but the question he wished he was asked.
Instead of addressing the possibility of a mandate, Polis equivocated and reframed the question in terms of whether vaccinated Coloradans should wear masks at all.
KOA RADIO: Could a mask mandate be returning to Colorado do you think?
JARED POLIS: Well if you’re vaccinated you can certainly wear a mask, and it adds a level of protection. But to put things in perspective vaccines are about 95% effective, masks are about 50% effective. So what you get with the mask if you’re already vaccinated is you go from about 95% to about 97.5% – you know some will want to do that. But the big thing out there is that there are still people that are unvaccinated, Coronavirus is still rampant among the unvaccinated population. We have 286 people hospitalized in Colorado. 95.7% of people hospitalized January through June were unvaccinated. So I hope there are people who are listening that have been putting it off, and this is a wake up call. This is real. You’re going to need to get vaccinated sooner or later, let’s get it sooner because you don’t want to be someone who gets COVID because you weren’t vaccinated.
Polis is obviously considering another mask mandate after lifting the previous one in May, otherwise there’d be no reason to dodge the question.
The state health department also refused to tell KDVR earlier this week whether another mask mandate could be in the works.
Small business owners and restaurants told Fox 31 another mask mandate would be a “gut punch.”
This decision carries immense political risk for Polis. Restaurants, especially those that rely on bar revenue, likely will not be able to endure another mask mandate or capacity restrictions.
Polis’s shutdowns last year cost the restaurant industry $3 billion.
If masks are mandated regardless of one’s vaccination status, Democrats are essentially killing one of the key arguments in favor of vaccination efforts — that vaccinated individuals can go without masks.
Polis is stuck between a rock and a hard place here, but given his prior willingness to shut down restaurants and businesses, we don’t have much confidence that he will resist another statewide mandate.