Idaho Gov. Brad Little in a suit and tie speaks to the camera
Gov. Brad Little speaks about the COVID-19 emergency in Boise, Idaho, on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. The Republican governor said state lawmakers are perpetuating false information and trying to score political points rather than help fight the pandemic.
Idaho Public Television via AP
  • Idaho's lieutenant governor issued a mask-mandate ban Thursday while the governor was out of state.
  • Upon his return Friday, the governor rescinded the ban and blasted the lieutenant governor.
  • "The action that took place was an irresponsible, self-serving political stunt," he said.
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Idaho's lieutenant governor took advantage of her boss's short trip away by issuing an executive order banning mask mandates. Upon his return, he rescinded the ban and blasted the move.

"An executive order that was issued while I was out of state this week runs contrary to a basic conservative principle – the government closest to the people governs best," Gov. Brad Little said in a statement. "Just like the states begrudge federal government mandates, local governments in Idaho resent the state doing the same thing."

"The action that took place while I was traveling this week is not gubernatorial," he said, calling it "an irresponsible, self-serving political stunt."

Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin issued the order on Thursday while serving as acting governor in Little's absence. Little's office told ABC he was not aware of the plan. McGeachin announced last week that she's running for governor and criticized the state's COVID-19 response in her announcement.

Little repealed the executive order on Friday and issued an announcement saying: "Gov. Little defends local control, denounces Lt. Governor's irresponsible abuse of power."

"How ironic that the action comes from a person who has groused about tyranny, executive overreach, and balance of power for months," Little said.

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