A week of states' rights and wrongs

In a public health crisis where early tough decisions to shut down or institute mask mandates initially fell on governors, governors again sought to carve their own paths for their states this week.

But under a new presidential administration, the response is not the same.
Decisions by Texas, Mississippi and other states this week to relax mask restrictions — in the face of clear CDC guidance against it — earned a swift, if archaic, rebuke from President Joe Biden.
    But it was essentially criticism in name only. After all, these are the governors’ jurisdictions. Biden has federal mask requirements in place, but they go only so far

      New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo, once a media darling for his lively coronavirus news briefings, is facing a growing chorus of criticism for multiple allegations of sexual harassment. The Democrat apologized, said he didn’t know he was making women uncomfortable but made clear this week that he would not step down. Yet with an investigation led by the state’s attorney general underway and reporting by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that Cuomo aides allegedly rewrote a June nursing home report from state health officials to hide the higher Covid-19 death toll among the state’s nursing home residents, it’s clear Cuomo is in major political hot water.
        Biden had a bit more luck in Washington this week, with the Senate working its way toward anticipated passage of his Covid relief package. That wasn’t without its own speed bumps: like the nearly 11 hours dedicated to the bill being read aloud, or Sen. Joe Manchin maybe breaking ranks with Democrats to side with Republicans over jobless benefits. 
          Yet the swelling vaccine supply nationwide, partially thanks to a third authorized vaccine from Johnson & Johnson and plateauing infection numbers (though some states are trending in the wrong direction, including Texas), there is a light at the end of this pandemic tunnel. And slowly but surely, it’s approaching.
            The Point: Through public health measures or political scandal, governors grabbed the spotlight this week.

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