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Michael R. Strain

Hey, Republicans, Stop Fighting Vaccine and Mask Mandates

From one conservative to another: Give businesses and localities freedom to respond to Covid-19. That’s what personal responsibility and limited government are all about.

Free expression.

Free expression.

Photographer: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

When it comes to Covid-19, too many prominent Republicans are acting like theirs is not the party of limited government and personal responsibility.

Some Republican elected officials are trying to thwart measures local governments and private businesses are taking to reduce the spread of Covid-19. For example, it is illegal in Governor Greg Abbott’s Texas for businesses to require customers to provide proof of vaccination — a law that restaurants in Austin learned about the hard way when they nearly had their liquor licenses revoked. Florida has a similar law, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, though a judge recently gave a cruise operator permission to ignore it.