During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many government officials and businesses made decisions that were arguably more harmful to people's lives than the virus itself once the data came in.

Lieutenant Gov. Will Ainsworth said he understood the panic people felt when the pandemic hit, but knowing what he knows now, lockdowns and mandatory masking will never again come to Alabama.

"We look at COVID, a lot of mistakes were made at the federal, state level," Ainsworth told 1819 News CEO Bryan Dawson on a recent episode of "1819 News: The Podcast."

He said he learned a lot from those mistakes and would make sure future pandemics are handled differently.

"I had never been through a pandemic, and I didn't know anyone who had," he continued. "But what I learned from that is one: we'll never have masks in Alabama. Two: we'll never have lockdowns again in Alabama. Three: government doesn't need to be getting involved in any type of COVID vaccine and pushing an agenda there. And four: let's just use common sense. I think we lost a lot of that during that whole thing."

Ainsworth placed some of the blame on State Health Officer Scott Harris, who he said had too much power as an unelected official.

SEE: State Health Officer Scott Harris blames 'democratization of press' for COVID vaccine skepticism

"That person [health officer] needs to serve at the pleasure of the governor just like any other cabinet position because it's dangerous if you got a liberal in there what could happen," Ainsworth said. "The danger in that is now we have an unelected group picking an unelected person that we don't have any recourse on, and they're doing stuff that could potentially destroy our lives and destroy your businesses. We lost 8,000 businesses during the pandemic, and I think the lesson that needs to be learned from that is that needs to be changed. That needs to be a cabinet job."

He concluded, "Knowing what we know now, this is just a respiratory illness like the flu, and life goes on."

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