FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Governor Andy Beshear believes lawmakers made the wrong decision on masking.
"The legislature owns this pandemic moving forward," said Beshear at a Friday press conference.
On Thursday, the General Assembly voted to pass bills that ban statewide mask mandates. GOP lawmakers argued that masking decisions should be made on the local level.
"They make the decision of what they think is best for their constituents and their communities," said Sen. Max Wise, who sponsored the bill that voided the Kentucky Department of Education's mask mandate.
However, Beshear doesn't see it that way. He believes lawmakers are shifting their responsibility onto others.
"The legislature asked to go in - to go in at QB," Beshear said. "And what did they do? They punted on first down."
"If I still had the authority, we'd be masking indoors," said Beshear.
But since each school district will now be able to make its own decision, Beshear hopes they make good choices.
"There is only one decision - one right answer - where you don't endanger children and your entire community," said Beshear. "[COVID-19] is burning through Kentucky like nothing that we have ever seen. More younger people are in the hospital and dying than ever before. Record case numbers. Record hospitalizations."
"Either our school systems follow the science and do universal masking or they endanger our children."