California City Votes to Ban Vaccine and Mask Mandates

( – The City of Huntington Beach, California, made a significant decision on Wednesday, voting to prohibit universal mask and vaccine mandates for COVID-19. This initiative was brought forward by Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark and was included in the city’s agenda for Tuesday.

Van Der Mark voiced her concerns, stating that the mask mandates within the city had, in her opinion, “unnecessarily restricted the freedoms of Huntington Beach citizens, even those who had no contact with COVID-19-positive individuals or any exposure risk.”

The declaration passed narrowly, with a 4-3 vote by the City Council just before adjourning at 2:48 a.m. It’s important to note that this ban will specifically apply to city officials and not private businesses.

The motion underscored the principle of personal choice, stating that “individuals, whether in City Hall or the private sector, should have the right to decide whether they want to wear a mask or receive vaccination or booster shots.” This decision comes at a time when the city is experiencing a slight increase in COVID cases.

Huntington Beach, located approximately an hour’s drive south of Los Angeles, has been known for its defiance of statewide mask mandates throughout the pandemic, consistently opposing the state’s stringent measures.

More broadly, the city has maintained its reputation as a conservative stronghold, with residents harboring concerns and grievances that extend beyond the state’s handling of the pandemic.