Democratic candidate for Governor Nicole Galloway spoke to a few media members in a closed event at Missouri State University on Monday to share her plans for dealing with COVID-19.
Galloway spoke from a prepared text, stating if she was elected that she would immediately impose a mask mandate for the entire state. Galloway said the mask mandate is being endorsed by health care providers and public health experts, and called them a “ticket to freedom” that so many within the state are seeking in regards to getting back to normal life.
“It improves our odds that businesses can remain open,” Galloway said. “Schools can fully return to in-person learning. People can get their jobs back.”
Galloway said her administration would be more directly involved with school districts and apply a model that determines how far a school can open dependent on the rate of infections within a community.
Galloway was critical of the governor’s approach to CARES Act funding, saying that it was sent to counties without any real guidance from Jefferson City which she would intent to provide. She said that she would create a state task force on the COVID relief funds to provide counties with direction.
State treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick called out Galloway, saying that’s already been done.
“Wow. Nicole Galloway calls for state task force on COVID relief funds unaware that [Governor Mike Parson] created ours month ago,” Fitzpatrick wrote on Twitter. “Putting partisan politics over policy, yet again.”
When asked by OI how she would enforce a statewide mask mandate, Galloway didn’t answer the question in her response.
“Look, part of this is changing our culture and making it the norm to wear masks,” Galloway said. “There certainly is a vocal minority, there always will be in any action that you take, and I accept that. But the truth is that the overwhelming amount of Missourians want to see a mask order because they want to get back to work, they want to get back to school, they want to see the Chiefs win another Super Bowl, we want to see the Blues play hockey. All the things we want to do require the containment of this novel coronavirus, which means we must have these mitigation efforts. Again, it’s important to listen to the public health experts that are showing us a path forward, so we don’t have to shut down our economy again.”