Williamsburg, Va, 26 May 2020: Senate Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City), Caucus Chairman Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover), Caucus Co-Chairman Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham), Caucus Whips William M. Stanley, Jr. (R-Franklin) and Bryce E. Reeves (R-Spotsylvania), and Republican Leader Pro-Tempore Stephen D. Newman (R-Bedford) today issued the following statement in response to Governor Northam’s unilateral declaration that Virginians must wear masks:
“During a period of unprecedented executive overreach, Governor Northam further burdened the lives of Virginians today by mandating they wear masks when in public.
“While this governor behaving hypocritically is nothing new, this latest ‘do as I say not as I do’ edict takes his disingenuousness to an entirely new level.
“Requiring Virginia’s businesses to enforce this mandate under threat of action by the Department of Health only adds to the incredible and stifling burdens placed upon them by the Democrat majority and the Governor this year.
“Hypocrisy has become the hallmark of Ralph Northam and his administration. From falsely attacking his Republican opponent for racial insensitivity while concealing his own history of wearing blackface, to posing for selfies in Virginia Beach while neither observing social distancing guidelines nor wearing a mask, Ralph Northam long ago abandoned all moral authority as governor.
“We call on the Governor to immediately rescind this latest mandate, or to offer it only as a voluntary recommendation without threat of enforcement. Virginians are responsible and sufficiently informed to make these determinations for themselves without coercive threats from their leaders.”