McClure joined CBS’s “Face The Nation” after several weeks of rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Springfield area.
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“People come to Springfield to shop, to do business. So people will come here. And I think that has greatly increased our exposure,” said McClure.
McClure noted on the broadcast that misinformation may be leading to the recent surge and vaccine hesitancy.
“People are talking about fears they have, health-related fears, what it might do them later in their lives, what might be contained in the vaccinations and that information is just incorrect,” said McClure. “We as a society, and certainly in our community are being hurt by it.”
I wanted to take a few minutes today to address the ongoing COVID-19 situation facing our area and my thoughts about how our community can respond to the ever-changing landscape of the situation.
First, let me state clearly and for the record: I will not support another government mask mandate, nor will I support a vaccine mandate. I didn’t talk about freedom and liberty during my campaign for Mayor simply as a way to get elected. I championed those values then, as I do now, because I believe that each individual should have the right to decide for themselves how to best handle their own medical decisions.
With that being said, I want to reiterate a few statements I’ve made since the beginning of all this:
If you choose to wear a mask, I support your decision.
If you own a business and choose to require masks in your business, I support your decision.
And the SAME goes for those individuals or businesses that choose not to wear or require masks for themselves and their businesses.
Freedom means the freedom to decide to wear a mask OR not to wear one.
No businesses or individuals should be persecuted, blacklisted or attacked because they disagree with YOUR individual viewpoint on the mask issue. The wonderful thing about our country and our city is that we can disagree while still coexisting with each other.
Ultimately, our consumers will decide where they want to dine, shop and stay based on their own personal views on the issue. If they feel more comfortable patronizing a restaurant, retail store, theater, attraction or any business that requires masks, they should be able to make that choice for themselves. Again, the same applies for visitors that feel comfortable patronizing businesses without mask requirements. Our community can and should decide for themselves how to handle their own medical decisions, and our visitors will do the same.
Now, to address the issue of vaccines.
I believe your Mayor and Board of Alderman should make sure our local community is informed of the availability of vaccines for those who would like to get vaccinated. The Branson area has 15 locations where vaccine shots are readily available and free of charge. If you want to get the vaccine, you can.
I DO NOT believe it’s my place, or the place of any politician, to endorse, promote or compel any person to get any vaccine. That’s a decision that should be made by each individual in consultation with their doctor and their family. If you have questions about the vaccine and if it’s right for you, you should ask your doctor.
Finally, I do have one request I will make of you, the people. Be good to one another. Be good to those who visit our town. Don’t let temporary disagreements drive us apart forever. Whether you are masked or not, vaccinated or not, make smart decisions. Wash your hands regularly, maintain social distancing when possible, if you are sick STAY HOME and be aware of those around you who may think differently than you do about the issue. Be courteous, be thoughtful, be Branson.
Larry D. Milton