Democrats Await a 'Clear Off-Ramp' for Mask Mandates

Susan Jones | February 9, 2022 | 7:01am EST
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"We will not let the pandemic run our lives," Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) told a news conference on Tuesday. (Photo: Screen capture)
"We will not let the pandemic run our lives," Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) told a news conference on Tuesday. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - A number of states, including some run by Democrats, are now lifting or easing mask mandates, apparently in response to a fed-up public. On Tuesday, a reporter asked House Democrats for their reaction to the lifting of COVID-imposed restrictions.

"People are sick to death of this pandemic," Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) said:

And I do believe because of the President's leadership and -- and the Democratic plan to beat the virus -- that we will be in a position to communicate a clear off-ramp and to make sure people understand that they will be in a position to care for themselves, for their families. That we trust parents to know best for their children and their schools.

And that because of the wide availability of vaccines and better therapeutics, and with the right support for our frontline healthcare workers who have performed heroically, that we can all expect a definite plan for the resumption of our normal lives, and once and for all put the pandemic behind us, remembering the extraordinary losses we've suffered as -- as a country and honoring the people who helped us through.

But once again asserting that we will not let the pandemic run our lives. And I understand that the American people expect that, and we're going to deliver it.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told reporters that the omicron variant is "in retreat," and he gave the credit to "President Biden's leadership" and and the "public health infrastructure" supported by the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which passed without any Republican support.

"With respect to the end of the pandemic, we're not in the end zone yet but we are inside the red zone. President Biden has quarterbacked this effort and he is leading the way forward. That is a great thing for the American people," Jeffries said.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that "Everyone ages 2 years and older should properly wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status. You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of community transmission..."

Masking is required on all forms of public transportation.

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