'Hypocrisy has become the hallmark of Ralph Northam’: Republican leaders on Virginia’s new mask requirements

Requirements go into effect on Friday

A face mask. (Pexels.)

ROANOKE, Va. – Not long after Gov. Ralph Northam announced a Virginia’s mask requirement, Republicans in both the House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate spoke out against the decision.

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) issued the following statement:

“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.”

House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, House Republican Caucus Chair Kathy Byron, R-Bedford, and House Republican Whip Jay Leftwich, R-Chesapeake issued the following statement:

“We are deeply concerned about Governor Northam’s actions today. It is unconscionable to require businesses to enforce a government mandate under threat of sanction from government agencies. This puts yet another burden on businesses already reeling from months of being shut down or severely limited.

“Throughout this episode, the Governor has acted inconsistently. Through his own actions the Governor has squandered his capital as a physician whose advice people would be willing to follow. Virginians would be much more likely to follow the suggestions of a leader who instills confidence and leads with consistency.”