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Governor Sununu Continues to Face Backlash Over “Impetuous” Decision to Lift Mask Mandate

Concord, N.H. -- Governor Sununu continues to face backlash from public health experts and Granite Staters over his “impetuous” decision to lift the mask mandate even as COVID cases continue to rise in New Hampshire. According to InDepthNH, Rich DiPentima, the former chief of the state communicable diseases epidemiology “expressed concern” to State Epidemiologist Dr. Chan about Sununu’s decision to lift the mask mandate, given that New Hampshire is still reporting between 300 and 500 cases of COVID-19 per day and an average between 2 and 4 per day for the last month. The Keene Sentinel Editorial Board also slammed Sununu for his decision to lift the mask mandate, noting that the Keene City Council “was over three months ahead of Gov. Chris Sununu in adopting a mask-wearing requirement last August,” and that “nothing about the governor’s sudden, rather impetuous decision to let the statewide mandate expire last Friday that should influence the council’s assessment of whether to leave the city’s mask ordinance in place.” In less than a week since lifting the mandate, cities, towns, and businesses across the state have announced they intend to keep their own maks mandates in place. Meanwhile, Sununu is facing backlash from health care professionals like Boston Medical Center Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Linas who said, “More people will die, so it’s an easy question — it’s a bad idea,” or Brendan Williams, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Health Care Association who said, “People must respect local government mask mandates and the mask requirements that private businesses have in place, and, frankly, just use commonsense by wearing masks.”

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