August 5, 2021

BLUE ON BLUE ON THE FRONT RANGE: Hancock not sticking his neck out for Polis this time around.

Back in March of 2020, when Covid was just getting started and we were all told that it would just be two weeks to flatten the curve, Governor Jared Polis was reluctant to impose a statewide lockdown of any kind. He preferred to let local governments get out in front on that. Denver’s Michael Hancock did just that, announcing a city-wide travel and business lockdown (although he couldn’t quite decide whether or not liquor stores constituted essential businesses). Governor Polis followed suit shortly thereafter.

This time, All-Star Game aside, Hancock isn’t playing ball.

In the face of revised CDC guidance advising even fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors, Denver announced that it would not even issue a new mask mandate, trusting businesses and individuals to do what was best for them.

Why the change? The overall political climate surrounding the virus has changed, and the effects of that change are exacerbated by factors specific to Denver.

According to his own Department of Finance, in the Budget Kickoff briefing given to the City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee back in April, small business in the Denver metro area has been devastated, with the total number of small businesses operating down 30%, and the entry-level-friendly Leisure and Hospitality Sector down over 40%.

Read the whole thing.

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