Abigail Sensky / KCUR
It was difficult to understand all of the various guidance and obligations on masking and vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states and local governments. But in Kansas, where incidents are on the rise, it’s hard to tell who has the power to call for fire, as Democratic Governor Laura Kelly’s executive branch has legal problems.
The state’s Republican Attorney General will appeal against a recent ruling that Kansas Parliament’s restrictions on Kelly’s emergency powers are flawed and unenforceable, but the court battle is between the Governor and the local public. Health authorities fight the pandemic.
While waiting for the final decision, Kelly has not yet taken strong action to respond to the pandemic revival. For example, previously issued mask orders that could delay the state’s economic recovery and create strong resistance.
March, Governor compromise I agreed with a state councilor to give up some of her power. When she issued another state-wide Maskman Date, a committee of state legislators voted for it 5-2. By early April Maskman dating has been removed It decreased from 57 in February to 7.
Currently, 84 of 105 counties in the state of the coronavirus delta mutant have been captured in the regional hot zone, and none of the 105 have mask mandates. On the other hand, more than half of all targeted Kansas states are unvaccinated.
Kansas Department of Health and Environment report Since Wednesday, there have been more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases, most of which are the result of new epidemic delta mutations.
But on Wednesday, Kelly stopped issuing another state-wide Maskman Date. Instead, she chose coaxial cable.
Even in vaccinated Kansas, she said she needed to wear masks indoors in 84 of the 105 counties in Kansas. Her guidance reflects previous advice from the CDC. She required most state workers to wear masks at work.
“I’m as frustrated as any other vaccinated Kansan,” Kelly said. “I feel like I’ve played my part. One of the rewards is that I didn’t have to wear a mask.”
“But that option has now been removed, because of the delta mutant and how contagious it is, and unfortunately less vaccinated Kansas,” she said.
Local health officials are afraid of infections and anger
Aften Gardner is a rural health caretaker in Wallace County who has never had a mask mandate throughout the county. Gardner said he was worried again as 34% of the population was completely vaccinated.
She is also the president of the Kansas Regional Health Department Association. Gardner said he was neither a governor, a local health official, nor a county commissioner, and did not want to provoke residents’ anger by imposing mask mandates or diverting pandemic regulations. Doing so will provoke certain vitriols.
“The attitude is very.’This is a free country. I’m not going to let you do anything. You have the right to mask, but you can’t tell me to do anything.” It’s almost a stance. is.”
She said the health sector’s cooperation with county partners and community members was “almost destroyed” during the pandemic process.
“We are called bad guys,” Gardner said.In fact, about 30% of Kansas health officers and managers I quit my job Much after a personal attack on public health policy they faced during the pandemic.
The same anger was directed at the governor. She distracted when a reporter asked Kelly if she would consider re-imposing a state-wide mask mandate.
“We don’t want to spend a lot of energy thinking about it,” she said.
But until the State Supreme Court weights it, it’s hard to tell if resistance to Kelly’s actions is a matter of legal authority or political will.
Her executive authority to respond to emergencies was hollowed out during the pandemic process.
Conservative majority of Kansas parliament passed law The state’s pandemic response was transferred to the local county commission, hampering Kelly’s and local health authorities’ ability to respond.
one New law Those who were dissatisfied with the mask policies or restrictions issued by the school board or local governments needed a quick judicial review. If there was a disagreement between the parent and the school board, the court had to hear the matter within three days and issue an order within seven days.
Kelly’s power has shrunk so much under the law that Republican leaders Replaces her request to extend the state of emergency In June.
However, some power could be regained if the Supreme Court ruled in her favor and the Kansas Parliament stepped into the judiciary and agreed to take due process from the local government. There is sex.
“This is the ultimate legislature aimed at replacing the rules and functions of the judiciary,” wrote David Howber, District Judge of Johnson County. “It promotes the equivalent of legal anarchy.”
Kansas Prosecutor General Derek Schmidt will appeal, arguing that the ruling could cause “unnecessary and devastating turmoil” and make it difficult for the state to respond to future disaster emergencies. is doing. He said it “caused the very kind of” legal anarchy “that plagued the court.”
At a press conference Wednesday, Kelly distracted questions about whether local health officials think they have the authority to respond to a pandemic.
“I’ll leave that to the local government and the school board to decide how they want to interpret what the judge’s decision does,” Kelly said.
“Our office does not want to guess until the Kansas Supreme Court reaches a decision, which we expect to happen soon,” a later statement said.
Dennis Kriesel, executive director of the Kansas District Health Department, said the district court’s ruling is unlikely to apply to the entire state.
Local health officials can issue mask mandates, limit the size of meetings with or without law, and more.But under the law, they need to get the blessings of county officials, and the two largest metro county members in Kansas City Reluctant to sign on to recommendations Due to a temporary mask obligation.
“When it comes to the ability to place orders, we’re more flexible than we were two months ago,” Crisel said. “That said, I don’t think we’ll see the aggressive orders we saw last fall because of the backlash.”
Public health officials are looking for political coverage, regardless of who has the authority to respond, Kriesel said.
“Perhaps, on the one hand, we could count the number of local health officers who are willing to give orders without knowing what the committee’s position is,” he said.
Who is calling for COVID shots in Kansas? Difficult to say: NPR
Source link Who is calling for COVID shots in Kansas? Difficult to say: NPR