The St. Louis County Council moved to end the county’s new mask mandate Tuesday, throwing the order into legal limbo.
After hearing dozens of people rail against the mandate and County Executive Sam Page, council members voted 5-2 to end the order and rebuke Page for failing to consult them before issuing it, which they say was required under a new state law.
“Too many American men and women have given the last full measure of devotion for us to be cavalier with the very liberty they fought and died to provide,” said Councilman Ernie Trakas, R-6th District. “I will not abide any measures that seek to compromise or erode our liberty and freedom.”
Trakas was joined by council members Tim Fitch, R-3rd District, Mark Harder, R-7th District, Rita Heard Days, D-1st District, and Shalonda Webb, D-4th District. Councilwomen Kelli Dunaway, D-2nd District, and Lisa Clancy, D-5th District, dissented.
Page dismissed the vote as meaningless and continued to tout the mandate’s benefits in remarks after the vote.
“We as elected officials cannot stand by and let the delta variant rack up more and more victims each and every day,” he said. “Masks will help slow the spread of the virus while we continue to vaccinate as many people as we can.”
Whether those masks will be mandatory is likely now a question for the courts. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, has filed suit challenging the order. In the meantime, county residents will have to choose which of their leaders they want to believe as the highly infectious delta variant continues to spread.