‘They Incentivize bad behavior, and I’m fed up with it.’ West Feliciana Parish President says he will not enforce governor’s mask mandate

West Feliciana Parish President Kenny Havard says he will not be enforcing the governor’s mask...
West Feliciana Parish President Kenny Havard says he will not be enforcing the governor’s mask mandate on his businesses or residents.(WAFB)
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 4:05 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - West Feliciana Parish President Kenny Havard says he will not be enforcing the governor’s mask mandate on his businesses or residents.

Havard tells WAFB, his parish has done everything right when it comes to leading the state in COVID-19 vaccinations.

According to data from the CDC, 76.5% of the population in West Feliciana Parish has received at least one shot of a COVID vaccine, and 67.6% of the population is fully vaccinated.

“Why wouldn’t the governor take us and say look at what they are doing. Or use us as an example, saying hey East Baton Rouge Parish, maybe if you get to 76%, you’ll be allowed to not have to wear a mask, or you can opt out of the mask mandate. So, they didn’t do that. They always penalize, they do what government does best, especially Democrat government. They penalize the people that do the right thing, and they incentivize bad actors. Like giving them $100 to take a vaccination,” said Havard.

Havard believes health leaders and government officials keep pushing the needle further as to how much percent of a certain population has to get vaccinated in order to get herd immunity, and he’s fed up with it all.

“I really want my message to get out, because I need it to resonate to people. It’s just not fair to people who do the right thing have been treated and follow the rules. It’s just ridiculous. It’s what government always does. They incentivize bad behavior, and I’m fed up with it,” said Havard.

Havard says it’s obviously each individual business what they decide to do but believe every person should be able to make their own decision on whether or not to mask up.

“If the businesses decide that they want you to wear a mask if you come in there, it’s their decision. They own the place. And if you don’t want to go in it, then don’t go. Go shop somewhere else, it’s plenty of places to shop and do,” said Havard.

The Parish President is fully vaccinated and is urging all his residents to take advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated.

The governor responded to President Havard saying he will not enforce his mask mandate at his news conference Monday:

“The enforcement provision is just the same as it was before. I know President Havard, he’s actually a friend of mine, I’ve known him for a while. I would just ask him and any others to take a hard look at the science. To reconsider what they just heard here. Because they may have made that decision hastily and before they had any idea what’s actually happening in our communities all across the state of Louisiana relative to the capacity to deliver healthcare, because I can promise you, there will be people in West Feliciana and elsewhere, who will suffer it we don’t get compliance with the mask mandate. It is just that simple. So, I would appeal to them to do something that is necessary, not something that we want to do, but something that we have to do. Quite frankly I think that’s what leadership requires, so I would ask him and others, to look at it from that perspective,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

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