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No use of the phrase ‘mask mandate’ could have been a political move by Gov. Northam

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LYNCHBURG, Va. – During Governor Ralph Northam’s 32-minute news conference Thursday, not once did he use the phrase “mask mandate” while addressing the policy for grades K through 12 — even when asked about it multiple times.

That has many wondering if it was a political move ahead of November’s election.

“We expect [schools divisions] to follow the law,” said Northam.

That law was put on the books in March, requiring school divisions to offer in-person instruction five days a week and follow CDC mitigation strategies.

“If [divisions] choose not to follow it, they should have a frank discussion with their legal counsel,” said Northam.

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Yet the governor’s comments Thursday differ from what the CDC and Virginia’s own Department of Health recommended late last month.

“The intent here is to empower those local decision-makers to make data-driven, locally informed decisions that best suit the situation in their area,” said Dr. Laurie…

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