Idaho State Representative Karey Hanks has introduced legislation to prohibit local governments from enacting mask mandates in the state, calling masks repressive to the soul and not medically sound, while citing the U.S. Constitution in her opposition to the mandates.
While Idaho Governor Brad Little is one of just a handful of state executives not to have signed some form of statewide mask mandate since the onset of COVID-19, several localities in the state have, with a total of nine counties and ten cities enacting local regulations and restrictions.
Despite the state as a whole not living under ever-changing mask mandates and curfews, local ordinances have led to issues of their own Idahoans say, with rules surrounding masks and distancing measures changing as citizens travel from place to place – something Hanks’ bill looks to change.
“We live in a republic and we the people should have a voice and a choice about our own health,” Representative Hanks (R-35B) said on the Idaho State House floor in introducing the bill, which would nullify existing mask mandates in public schools as well as entire municipalities, putting the decision to wear a mask or not back in the hands of the people and allowing business owners to decide for themselves if a private mask mandate is the right choice for their operation.
Echoing the confusion and irritation expressed by millions in regards to mask mandates and COVID-linked restrictions on daily life, Hanks refused to gloss over the mental, emotional, and spiritual side effects big government-driven COVID restrictions have had on her constituents, as well as Idahoans and the American people as a whole.
According to Hanks, it is time governments consider “the physical and emotional and even mental injuries to our bodies, and possibly even our souls, as healthy individuals are required to wear these masks.”
Thus far, Hanks’ bill has cleared the legislature’s State Affairs Committee, icing the way for a hearing before the state’s House of Representatives. Idaho is far from alone in their moves away from mask mandates and other COVID related restrictions, with the likes of Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama all moving to ditch the intrusive regulations in recent weeks.