Mayors blast Gov. Parson’s decision to end COVID-19 state of emergency

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Some mayors in north St. Louis County are questioning Gov. Mike Parson’s decision to allow the COVID-19 state of emergency for Missouri to expire on Dec. 31.

FOX 2’s Elliott Davis talked to a group of Black mayors and other county officials Monday about their concerns.

Vinita Park Mayor James McGee cited the recent COVID surge, in which case numbers have risen to an all-time high of 45% in some underserved minority communities.

He said now is not the time to end the state of emergency because the state is still in an emergency.

Mayor Brian Jackson of Beverly Hills said ending the state of emergency does not help north St. Louis at all, and he called on the governor to reverse his decision.

St. Louis County Councilwoman Rita Days said she has no idea who the governor talked to when making his decision but said it’s not helping her community’

FOX 2’s You Paid For It Team reached the Governor’s Office. His spokeswoman sent back a statement saying, in part: “Thanks to the effectiveness of the vaccine, widespread efforts to mitigate the virus, and our committed health care professionals, past needs to continue the state of emergency are no longer present.”

“There is no longer a need for a state of emergency,” the statement continued. “We can work together to fight COVID-19 while living our normal lives.”

Rep. Wiley Price from St Louis City called the governor’s action a “terrible decision not supported by the facts.”

Read the full statement from Governor Parson’s Office below:

“Thanks to the effectiveness of the vaccine, widespread efforts to mitigate the virus, and our committed health care professionals, past needs to continue the state of emergency are no longer present,” Governor Parson said. “Over the last 22 months, we have coordinated with local, state, and private partners to mitigate COVID-19 and work towards returning to normalcy. We all now know how to best fight and prevent serious illness from this virus. The State stands ready to provide assistance and response, but there is no longer a need for a state of emergency.”

“In Missouri, we never had mandates or forced lockdowns,” Governor Parson said. “The main focus of our state of emergency was to provide regulatory flexibility to support and assist Missourians, health care facilities, and businesses and coordinate a COVID-19 response that saved lives and livelihoods. We encourage all Missourians to consider COVID-19 vaccination and to stay diligent, but we can work together to fight COVID-19 while living our normal lives. It is time to take this final step and move forward as a state.”

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