With Masks Becoming Latest Marker In Culture Wars, Beshear Asks Wearers To Speak Out

May 20, 2020

Gov. Andy Beshear says the there are promising signs in the state's coronavirus data, but he's warning that politicization of safety guidelines could hurt recovery efforts.

A woman wearing an American flag themed bandanna joins protesters demanding Florida businesses and government reopen, at rally in downtown Orlando, Fla., Friday, April 17, 2020.
Credit AP Photo/John Raoux

The governor took time out of his daily briefing Wednesday to make the argument against viewing the outbreak through any kind of political lens. With face coverings becoming the latest indicator of the country's partisan divide, the Democrat reached out to listeners to create videos and post on social media about why they choose to wear a mask.

"This is not a battle between political parties or ideologies. It's plain, basic public health guidance that's out there from the CDC and everywhere else," Beshear said. "It's the same guidance on the state and federal level, and it's just smart."

Sensing a political issue in-the-making, the governor also urged residents to coooperate with contact tracers by picking up the phone and answering the call if they're notified of a positive coronavirus result and asked to self-quarantine.

"While there might be some out there that try to create divisions in it, they do not exist. Don't buy it," Beshear counseled.

In the meantime, the trend-line of new COVID cases continues to sit on a plateau in the commonwealth, and the governor reported that hospitals have shown that they can stabilize patients faster than expected.

"The infection rate is certainly descreasing. The overall hospitalization rate is decreasing," he said. "But now remember that's a snapshot for the most part from two weeks ago, which means that 'Healthy at Home' was working well. We need to make sure 'Healthy at Work' works just as well."

The state recorded 166 new cases Wednesday and 10 new deaths.