A day after Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards criticized Lafayette's "basic failure of leadership" during a Zoom interview with The Washington Post, Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory responding with a leadership challenge of his own for the governor: "Make sure (your) own house is in order first."

“It is deeply hypocritical for Governor John Bel Edwards to attack Lafayette in the national media, criticizing our City Council for recognizing the challenges and cost involved in enforcing a local mask mandate," said Guillory in a press release.

Guillory then went on to reference a report from CBS This Morning lead national correspondent David Begnaud that showed the State Fire Marshal's Office enforcing "zero" action on complaints regarding those not following the governor's mask mandate.

"Where is the Governor’s enforcement of his mask mandate?" asks Guillory in the press release. "The State Fire Marshal reports to him.  ATC reports to him.  How many citations have they written for the nearly 4,000 complaints they have received?  Zero."

Guillory then expressed a concern heard from local officials across the state by asking "Why does he (Edwards) expect local governments, yet again, to bear the cost of state mandates? How much of the $1.9 billion provided to the State by the Federal Government for COVID-19 response has been dedicated to enforcement of his mandate?"

Guillory then summed up his response to Edwards' "attack" by accusing Edwards of using the mask mandate "as a partisan weapon." In Edwards' criticism of Lafayette leadership, he noted the Lafayette City Council's vote down of the local mask mandate as happening along party lines - 3-2 with all of the Republicans voting against it and the Democrats for it.

The real failure of leadership is immediately evident in Governor Edwards’ decision to use his “mask mandate” as a partisan weapon, rather than actually enforce it...If the Governor wants to use the national media to audition for a job in Washington DC, he might want to make sure his own house is in order first.

Guillory spoke with Bernadette Lee and Ian Auzenne about the Lafayette City Council shooting down the local mask mandate and the city and the state's enforcement of it on "Lafayette Live," which can be heard every Thursday from 7-8 AM. They begin the discussion on the mask mandate around the 1 hour 44 minute mark.


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