Hawaii the Last State with Mask Mandate

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, early February 20, 2022
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

Hawaii stands as the final state with a mask mandate, over two years after the start of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

Every other state in the country has announced plans ending their respective mask mandates months ahead of the midterm election — suspicious timing, according to key conservative figures who have long fought against such restrictions. Even Gov. John Carney (D) of President Biden’s Delaware announced the end of the statewide mask mandate as others made similar announcements — including California and New York — and others went beyond, lifting statewide mask mandates in schools as well.

However, Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) has not followed suit.

“I am working with the Department of Health to determine when the time is right for Hawaii to lift the indoor mask mandate,” he told KITV, asserting that the mask mandate has “proven successful” in the state.

“Hawaii ranks second in the nation when it comes to COVID deaths, in part because of the indoor mask requirement and other measures that have proven successful in protecting our community from this potentially deadly virus,” he said, claiming that his administration bases its decisions on “science.”

Studies, however, have shown that common cloth and surgical masks do not effectively filter out the virus — an admission Dr. Anthony Fauci privately made in a February 2020 email, months before advocating for double masking. And for months on end, states with no statewide mask mandate continued to report lower coronavirus cases than states with heavy restrictions.

Currently, Hawaii requires individuals to wear masks indoors and recommends them “any time you’re near others and have a hard time maintaining physical distance.”

However, officials say other restrictions in the state will begin to loosen in the coming weeks. For instance, beginning Monday, February 21, individuals will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination to go into restaurants or gyms in Maui County. 

“When we get to March 25, which is when the emergency proclamation expires, that would be a sensible time, as long as we’re still doing things well, to get rid of restrictions,” Lt. Gov. Josh Green said, although it remains unclear if Ige will extend the proclamation. 

“I think they would like to do it in small stages,” Green said. “They’d like to reduce restrictions and manage schools, followed by managing changes at the travel level, and then finally at the mask level for all of our people.”

Meanwhile, several Democrat elitists who routinely advocate for masking have failed to hold themselves to the same standard. Recent photos, for example, show former President Barack Obama overseeing the construction of his multimillion-dollar beachfront mansion in Hawaii, forgoing a mask while in the midst of masked-up workers:

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