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Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, who previously supported executive orders requiring masking in public places, opposed a recent Alabama Department of Public Health's (ADPH) push to "normalize masking."

Following an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, the ADPH Tweeted, "When in doubt, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Let’s normalize masking and protect our community."

The tweet also included a short video:

When asked if Ivey agrees with the campaign to "normalize masking," the governor's office responded saying Ivey disagrees with the ADPH's stance on masking.

"A seafood restaurant would serve Rocky Mountain oysters before there was a mask mandate in the state of Alabama," the governor's office said in a statement. "Normalizing masking, Covid-19 restrictions and the like are not anywhere in Gov. Ivey’s vocabulary. Alabamians have common sense and can choose what is best for them."

Ivey's Communications Director Gina Maiola pointed out that "the Alabama Department of Public Health does not operate under the governor’s purview."

However, it was Ivey who stood alongside State Health Officer Scott Harris and issued executive orders requiring masking in public places.

On July 15, 2020, Ivey tweeted, "We are going to need everyone's help if we are going to slow the spread and turn these trends into a different direction. We are asking everyone to do a better job practicing social distancing, personal hygiene and, now, wearing face masks."

The amended executive order issued at the time put into place mask mandates for anyone who was unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. It also mandated masking on public transportation and indoor public venues, as well as outdoor spaces where 10 or more people were gathered.

A year later, Ivey blamed the unvaccinated for not having common sense and letting Alabamians down by causing increased numbers of COVID-19. Her comments were posted to YouTube:

Since the days of the mandates, Ivey has said she is now against mandates and during her Republican primary campaign this year she promised voters she would not allow federal overreach concerning COVID-19 protocol.

There have been numerous studies on masking and nearly all researchers admit there is not enough evidence to come to a definite conclusion. However, most do believe masking can help prevent spread of disease.

Ivey won the primary and will face Democratic candidate Yolanda Rochelle Flowers and Libertarian candidate Jimmy Blake. The general election will be on Nov. 8.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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