Just writing that Texas governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order to prevent a place from granting a mask mandate seems like a throwback. Because it is. Although Politico reported that Abbott issued such an order on Tuesday, it is not the first time. Abbott is just one of several Republican governors, including Ron DeSantis of Florida and Doug Ducey of Arizona, who have previously issued orders preventing local authorities from taking even these simple, minimal measures to protect citizens around them Order to reset in the event of COVID -19 cases have increased predictably.
This is despite a study last fall that showed counties with a mask mandate had a 32% slower rate of spread of COVID-19 than counties in the same state without a mask mandate. This study included data from counties in Texas. In all of these countries there was no law or regulation preventing someone from wearing a mask. But without a mandate – and without the regular reminder that most other people wear masks – people just didn’t wear a mask.
It is understandable that Abbott should be hiring a nationwide mandate at this point. Few states maintain these mandates after changes to CDC guidelines that allow people who are fully vaccinated to go without masks in most situations. However, issuing an order masking mandates from schools and local governments is not strictly following CDC guidelines. It puts pressure on people to accept an unsafe situation whether they like it or not.
Currently, 60% of American adults are vaccinated. That is 48% of the total population. Although the number of people vaccinated varies by region, it means that in any store, restaurant, mall, theater or museum, some of the people there will be a number of people who are not vaccinated. A mask mandate means that these people are protected. Without a mask mandate, continuing to wear a mask will help remind those who have not been vaccinated to wear a mask. And it didn’t cost anything.
When no one is wearing a mask, the pressure is on people who should be wearing a mask – those who haven’t been vaccinated, those who haven’t received two shots, or those who are still waiting to be vaccinated effectively – you feel pressured himself not to wear a mask. Whether we want to admit it or not, there is pressure to adjust to what others are doing. When no one is wearing a mask in sight, it is very, very difficult to pull out that fold of fabric and place it over your face.
Wearing a mask when not necessary will not harm anyone. Not wearing a mask when it is necessary does harm … well, 33.7 million and it is counted.
All of this is what makes Republican efforts to politicize a simple, safe, and effective health measure so damned terrible. That would be a nicer word for “crappy”.
And that word perfectly defines the actions of the Republicans of the House who decided on Tuesday to launch a “rebellion” against the rules that require the use of masks there. Unsurprisingly, the crew of around a dozen loud and undeservedly proud anti-maskers included Marjorie Taylor Greene and some of the other solid anti-sense members Thomas Massie, Louie Gohmert and Lauren Boebert.
During this deliberate violation of the house rules – done to bring a minute’s attention to Newsmax and the daily “Look How I Own the Libraries!” Fundraising Letter – Members of the Obnoxious Caucus were confronted by Rep. Jaimie Raskin, who told them, “Hey, you’re like 21st century Freedom Riders. John Lewis would be so proud. “ But considering that Republicans sailed past the lines of sarcasm a long time ago, chances are they took the remarks seriously.
Republicans could have a better point if they simply admitted they were vaccinated. What they won’t. Because just like masks, they have turned a public health issue into a literally sick piece of political theater. That’s why 100% of Democrats in both the House and Senate confirm they have been vaccinated, but only 95 out of 212 House Republicans will admit they got a sting.
Republicans both complain about having to wear masks after the CDC stated that in most situations the fully vaccinated could remove their masks and they refuse to admit they were vaccinated. Just asking Greene about it yesterday yelled that the question was “a HIPPA violation!” Was. It is not.
None of this makes sense. And that’s apparently all it takes these days to make it fully Republican.