Huntington Beach, a beautiful seaside town in Orange County, will never again enforce a mask or vaccine mandate.
At a meeting on Tuesday, the Huntington Beach City Council voted to ban universal mask mandates and COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the city. Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark (R) introduced the resolution, which was approved by a 4-3 vote.
The concern? Not trampling on the freedoms and liberties of Huntington Beach residents.
“With the increase in reports that there now may be a COVID resurgence and spread by a new COVID-19 variant, and additional discussion of possible new broad (universal) mask-wearing mandates and pushes for vaccination boosters, the City Council of Huntington Beach should take a stand against government imposing on individual liberties and broadly imposing response measures on individuals that have been proven to have little or no effectiveness,” the resolution says.
Previous mandates, the declaration explains, “unnecessarily limited the freedoms of the citizens of Huntington Beach — even those who were not around anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 or at risk of any exposure.”
Those freedom-limiting mandates, the declaration goes on to say, had “little to no effectiveness on the spread of COVID-19.”
“Individuals not directly at risk of direct exposure should have a right to choose whether to wear a mask or not, or whether to get vaccinated or not,” the resolution declares.
With the resolution’s narrow approval, the city manager will come to the next city council meeting to declare Huntington Beach a “no mask and no vaccine mandate City.”
There is one small caveat, however. The new resolution will not apply to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Opponents of the move have already tried to nullify it. Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley (D), for example, told the Los Angeles Times the resolution lacks authority because only state officials in Sacramento can set public health policies. It’s unclear if anyone will attempt to challenge the legality of the resolution.
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