Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has declared the COVID-19 emergency “over” and says he will no longer impose mask mandates.
The governor tells Colorado Public Radio that if people choose not to be vaccinated at this stage and accidentally get sick, “it’s their own fault.”
“Everyone had more than enough opportunity to be vaccinated,” Polis told the station on Friday. “Hopefully it was at your pharmacy, your grocery store, a bus near you, [or at] major events. At this stage, if you have not been vaccinated, it is really your own fault. ”
Polis continued, “Those who get sick, it’s almost entirely their own fault. I do not want to say that no one [will get the virus if they’re] vaccinated, but it is very rare. Just to put this in perspective, of the approximately 1,400 people admitted to the hospital, less than 200 (or 16 percent) were vaccinated. And many of them are older or have other conditions. Eighty-four percent of the people in our hospitals are unvaccinated, and they have had absolutely every chance of being vaccinated. ”
“And at this point, I think it’s almost like they made a deliberate decision not to get vaccinated,” he continued. “I still encourage everyone who has not been vaccinated to be protected. And for those who are, make sure you get that booster after six months. The data shows that this is important and most likely even more so with this omicron variant. ”
The governor said that local cities and towns could feel free to create their own mandates, but that the state would not.
“The emergency is over,” he said. “You know, public health [officials] do not tell people what to wear; it’s just not their job. Public health [officials] would say to always wear a mask because it reduces flu and reduces [other airborne illnesses]. But this is not something you need; you do not tell people what to wear. You are not telling people to wear a jacket when they go out in the winter and force them to do so [wear it]. If they get freezing, it’s their own fault.
“If you have not been vaccinated, it is your choice. I respect that. But it is your fault if you are in hospital with COVID, ”he continued.
Fox News reports that the remarks came because new restrictions were introduced in several Denver metro areas, “including a” wax or mask “mandate, which requires businesses to mandate either masks indoors or requires customers to provide proof of vaccination.”