KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Wednesday that he plans to file a lawsuit over the reinstated indoor mask mandate in Kansas City, Missouri.
Mayor Quinton Lucas announced the mandate earlier in the day for everyone age 5 and older, regardless of vaccine status starting Monday, Aug. 2.
“This mask mandate is about politics & control, not science,” Schmitt said in a tweet. “You are not subjects but citizens of what has been the freest country in the world & I will always fight for you.”
In response to Schmitt’s announcement, Lucas tweeted “Dude, the order hasn’t even been filed yet. What are you suing about? Do you want us to just schedule a debate on Fox News so you can get press? I’m down!”
Schmitt filed a similar lawsuit Monday after a mask mandate took effect in the St. Louis area.
The lawsuit said the mandate “undermines the important push for vaccinations” and that mandating children to wear masks in school is arbitrary and capricious because they are less likely to become seriously ill.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson released a statement on social media stating: “The recently updated CDC guidance regarding mask wearing for fully vaccinated individuals is disappointing and concerning. It’s disappointing because it is inconsistent with the overwhelming evidence surrounding the efficacy of the vaccines and their proven results, and it only serves to disrupt the increases we are seeing in vaccine uptake. This self-inflicted setback encourages skepticism and vaccine hesitancy at a time when the goal is to prevent serious illnesses and deaths from COVID-19 through vaccination. It’s concerning because the nation’s top public health agency appears to be cowering to the political pressures of those who only want to force mandates and shutdowns, which only further prolong the recovery we as a nation are working towards. This decision only promotes fear and further division among our citizens.”
Just 47.2% of Missouri residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, which is far below the national rate of 56.8%, state and federal data shows.
Whiteman Air Force Base reinstated its mask mandate Monday, the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum in the Kansas City area said it was closing and Truman Medical Center/University Health announced that it will require all workers to be vaccinated.