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'Public health [officials] don’t get to tell people what to wear': Democratic governor declares that COVID-19 emergency is 'over'

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis – a Democrat – declared that the COVID-19 pandemic is "over." Breaking from the Democratic Party, Polis added that he would not be implementing another statewide mask mandate despite the Omicron variant spreading easily.

"Everybody had more than enough opportunity to get vaccinated," Polis told Colorado Public Radio on Friday. "Hopefully it's been at your pharmacy, your grocery store, a bus near you, [or at] big events. At this point, if you haven't been vaccinated, it's really your own darn fault."

"I didn't hesitate to [issue a statewide mask mandate] in the emergency. The emergency is over," Polis stated. "You know, [state] public health [officials] don't get to tell people what to wear; that's just not their job."

"Public health [officials] would say to always wear a mask because it decreases flu and decreases [other airborne illnesses]," Polis stated. "But that's not something that you require; you don't tell people what to wear."

"You don't tell people to wear a jacket when they go out in winter and force them to [wear it]," Polis added. "If they get frostbite, it's their own darn fault. If you haven't been vaccinated, that's your choice. I respect that. But it's your fault when you're in the hospital with COVID."

"And at this point, I think it's almost like they made a deliberate decision not to get vaccinated," he noted. "I still encourage everybody who hasn't been vaccinated to get protected. And for those who are, make sure to get that booster after six months. The data shows it's important and very likely even more so with this omicron variant."

Polis said he supported local jurisdictions instituting their own mandates according to their individual needs, but that the state should stay out of it.

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